The Builder Magazine
March 1923 - Volume IX - Number 3
CHANGES IN OUR OFFICIAL FAMILY
By the Editor
THE YEAR 1922 IN ENGLISH MASONRY
By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
A Brief Sketch of His Life and Masonic Works
By Bro. Jacob Hugo Tatsch
FREEMASONRY AND THE CATHEDRAL BUILDERS
Begins New Study Club Series
By Bro. H. L. Haywood
PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY
THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
CEDAR RAPTDS, IOWA.
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BOARD OF EDITORS
Editor-in-Chief - H.L.Haywood
Assistant Editor - Jacob Hugo Tatsch
Louis Block, Iowa.
Robert I. Clegg Ohio.
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio.
Joseph Fort Newton, New York.
Alanson B. Skinner, Wisconsin.
Dudley Wright, England.
Address all communications to
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE - HOGARTH'S "NIGHT'
WILLIAM HOGARTH, A BRIEF SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND MASONIC
WORKS - By Bro. Jacob Hugo Tatsch
THE YEAR 1922 IN ENGLISH MASONRY By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
WAS DR. JOHNSON A FREEMASON? SOME PHASES OF HIS LIFE By Bro.
Arthur Heiron, England
THE SECRET SOCIETIES OF CHINA By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - ELISHA KENT KANE
By Bro. G. W. Baird, P. G. M., District of Columbia
THE STUDY CLUB Chapters of Masonic History - Part I, Freemasonry and the
Cathedral Builders By Bro. H.L. Haywood
CHANGES IN THE OFFICIAL FAMILY - By the Editor
EDITORIAL - Freemasonry is a Life of Gladness
The N.M.R.S. Co-operates with Masonic Magazines
Expert Wanted: A Masonic Consulting Architect
THE LIBRARY - The Masonic Writings of George Thornburgh
The Constitutions of 1722
THE QUESTION BOX - A History of Freemasonry in Canada
President Warren G. Harding's Masonic Record
Professor Edwin Grant Conklin
Augustus Thomas is a Mason
German Masonic Writers
CORRESPONDENCE - The Wayfaring Man, etc.
Merseyside Association for Masonic Research
Concerning Duffys "Original Thoughts"
Illegal Wearing of Emblems in Mississippi
Another Word Concerning Thomas Jefferson
Seventy-four Years a Mason
Forty-fifth Term as Secretary
YE EDITOR'S CORNER
A Brief Sketch of His Life and Masonic Works
BY BRO. JACOB HUGO TATSCH ASSISTANT EDITOR THE BUILDER
THE Masonic records of the seventeenth century are few in number. Fortunately
those of the eighteenth century, owing to the so-called "Revival" which took place in
1717, and the phenomenal growth of the Craft in the years immediately following, are
far more numerous. Yet the gaps still exist, and evidences of Masonic activities
culled from other sources are therefore of great value. Much can be deduced from
such sources of information - of which I shall consider only one in this article;
namely, that of engravings, and under this subject the work of one man - our brother,
William Hogarth, Grand Stewaxd of the Grand Lodge of England in 1735.
According to a quaint recital of his life as detailed in an eighteenth century book (1)
in my possession, William Hogarth born about 1698 (another authority gives
November 10, 1697, as the exact date), in the parish of St. Bartholomew, London. It
is said that his name was originally spelled Hogart, a corruption of Hogherd; it is also
given as Haggard and Hogard. The elder Hogard changed it to Hogarth, yielding to
the solicitation of his wife (the mother of our subject), who wished her unborn child
to have a name less what suggestive of what was probably the early occupation of her
In Anecdotes of Himself, Hogarth has left us the story of his early life. "As I had
naturally a good eye, and a fondness for drawing, shows of all sorts gave me
uncommon pleasure when an infant; and mimicry, common to all children, was
remarkable in me. An early access to a neighboring painter drew my attention from
play; and I was, at every possible opportunity, employed in making drawings. I
picked up an acquaintance of the same turn, and soon learnt to draw the alphabet with
great correctness. My exercises, when at school, were more remarkable for the
ornaments which adorned them, than for the exercises themselves. In the former, I
soon found that block-heads with better memories could much surpass me; but for the
latter I was particularly distinguished...
"I thought it still more unlikely that by pursuing the common method, and copying
old drawings, I could ever attain the power of making new designs, which was my
first and greatest ambition. I therefore endeavored to habituate myself to the exercise
of a sort of technical memory; and by repeating in my own mind the parts of which
objects were, composed, I could by degrees combine and put them down with my
pencil. Thus, with all the drawbacks which resulted from the circumstances I have
mentioned, I had one material advantage over my competitors; viz., the early habit I
thus acquired of retaining in my mind's eye, without coldly copying it on the spot,
whatever I intended to imitate."
Hogarth's talent for caricature was discovered while still serving his apprenticeship
with an engraver of arms on plate. In company with several companions, he made an
excursion to a nearby point. The heat of the day suggested refreshment at a public
house, in which a quarrel arose among some men who had preceded Hogarth and his
friends. Using a beer mug to enforce his contention, one of the disputants struck the
other on the head with such force as to cut open his skull. The subject formed by the
bleeding man, with agonizing wound and hideous grin, appealed to the caricatural
instincts of Hogarth. He took his pencil and hurriedly produced an extremely
ludicrous sketch. Hogarth was thus early "apprised of the mode Nature had intended
he should pursue."
Completing his apprenticeship, he entered the academy in St. Martin's Lane and
studied drawing from life. He never attained great excellence in the art, but showed
genius in depicting character and passions.
It is believed that he began business on his own account as early as 1720. Beginning
with the engraving of arms and shop bills, he next designed and furnished plates for
booksellers. Thirteen folio prints, with his name attached to each, appeared in Aubry
de la Motraye's Travels, 1723; seven smaller prints in 1724 illustrated Apuleius'
Golden Ass; a series of prints appeared in 1726 as illustrations for Butler's Hudibras,
of which one will be mentioned more fully later; other illustrations were engraved for
various books printed up to 1736. He also did some work in oils, but these paintings
and portraits do not possess the merit of his engravings.
Married in 1730 to the only daughter of Sir James Thornhill, who objected to the
stolen match as he considered the girl too young for marriage at eighteen, in addition
to being averse to Hogarth's impecunious circumstances and lack of reputation,
Hogarth was beset with the difficulties familiar to struggling genius, but in 1733 his
work was recognized and he rose completely into fame. It is not necessary in this
article to itemize his famous engravings, as copies are readily procurable in the
numerous editions of his works. I shall treat those of Masonic interest only.
HOGARTH AS AN AUTHOR
It is not generally known that Hogarth was also the author of a solitary volume, the
Analysis of Beauty, published in 1753. it is a treatise on art and was apparently so
well received that we find it translated into German, Italian, and French. A second
German edition, translated from the French, appeared July 1, 1754, prepaired by Ch,
Fr. Vok. A contemporaneous observer states: "This book had many sensible hints
and observations; but it did not carry the conviction, nor meet the universal
acquiescence he (Hogarth) expected. As he treated his contemporaries with scorn,
they triumphed over this publication, and irritated him to expose him."
Hogarth's fame lies in his caricatures and satires. "It may be truly observed of
Hogarth, that all his powers of delighting were restrained to his pencil. Having rarely
been admitted into polite circles, none of his sharp corners had been rubbed off, so
that he continued to the last a gross, uncultivated man. The slightest contradiction
transported him into a rage. To be member of a club consisting of mechanics, or those
not many removes above them, seems to have been the utmost of his social ambition;
but even in these societies he was oftener sent to Coventry for misbehaviour than any
other person who frequented them. To some confidence in himself he was certainly
entitled; for, as a comic painter, he could have claimed no honour that would not most
readily have been allowed him; but he was at once unprincipled and variable in his
political conduct and attachments. He is also said to have beheld the rising eminence
and popularity of Sir Joshua Reynolds with a degree of envy; and, if I am not
misinformed, frequently spoke with asperity both of him and his perfonnances.
Justice, however, obliges me to add, that our artist was liberal, hospitable, and the
most punctual of paymasters; so, that, in spite of the emoluments his works had
procured to him, he left but an inconsiderable fortune to his widow." (2)
His closing years were marked with political strife, in which he expressed himself
forcibly by his carcatures of men in public life. In 1762 his health began visibly to
decline. On October 25, 1764, he was conveyed to Leicesterfields. Here he received
a letter from Benjamin Franklin, and drew up a rough draft in reply; but being seized
with illness, died within two hours. He was buried in Chiswick, England, and a
monument erected to his memory with the following inscription:
"Here heth the body
Of William Hogarth, Esq.
Who died October the 26th, 1764,
Aged 67 -years."
HOGARTH AS A MASON
Little is known of Hogarth's Masonic record. Where and when he received the
degrees are facts awaiting discovery by the students of the Craft. A manuscript list in
the records of the Grand Lodge of England show him as a member of the lodge
meeting at the "Hand and Apple Tree," Little Queen Street, London; and in 1730, of
the "Comer Stone" Lodge. Apparently Hogarth became a member of the Fraternity
between 1725 and 1728, Robert Freke Gould stating that he was a member of the
"Hand and Apple Tree" Lodge in 1725, but does not give his authority. Hogarth
officiated as one of the Grand Stewards of the Assembly and Feast on April 17, 1735,
as shown by the minutes of the Grand Lodge of England. His appointment March 30,
1734, is recorded as follows: "Then the twelve present Stewards were called up, and
Thanks returned them from the Chair for the Care they had taken in providing such an
elegant Entertainment for the Society, and at the same time their Healths were drank
and also desired to proceed for each Steward to name his successor for the ensuing
year which they did in manner following Hogarth's name appears as the eighth of
a list then itemized.
"We may perhaps conjecture that in joining our ranks he was influenced by the
example of Sir James Thornhill, Grand Warden in 1728, whose assistant he was, and
in whose house he is said to have resided for some time before his marriage; for
Hogarth was hardly the man to tamely follow a mere general fashion of the day in
selecting his associates, or joining any association." (3)
Hogarth's best known Masonic engraving is the one entitled Night, the last of a series
known as The Four Times of the Day. Considering the scarcity of original prints, it is
interesting to note that these impressions, measuring 19 by 15 1/2 inches, were
offered for sale at the nominal price of five shillings each in 1782. A reproduction of
an original print in my possession accompanies this article as a frontis- piece to this
issue of THE BUILDER.
Unlike some of Hogarth's other prints, this one bears the date of issue, March 25,
1738. The date is important as it enables us to fix events depicted which would
otherwise be matters of conjecture. Judging from the oak leaves in the harbor's sign,
and in the hats of two of the men depicted, it is believed that Hogarth had May 29th
in mind, the anniversary of the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England.
G.W. Speth, to whom much of the credit is due what was accomplished during its
early years by Qatuor Coronate Lodge No. 2076 of London, in describing the print,
"The street presented to our view is, almost without doubt, Hartshorn Lane, Charing
Cross, opening to what is now Trafalgar Square, and which was known to our
generation as Northumberland Street, but is now replaced by Northumberland
Avenue. The only element of uncertainty arises from the position the equestrian
statue of Charles I, of which one expect to more of the near side, unless either its
position has been changed, or our artist has taken one of those liberties which by
painters and poets are deemed allowable. In Hartshorn Lane 'rare Ben Johnson' was
bom, and at the 'Rummer Tavern, Prior was found reading Horace when a boy.
Wapole's remarks would imply that the Runner was not a very reptuable was not a
very reputable house in his time, and if the room over the barber's shop be in any way
connected with the tavern, the inference would appear to be justified. The only
connection of the Rummer with the Craft, which I have been able to discover is that a
Lodge, constituted 18th August, 1732, and erased in 1746, met at the 'Rummer,
Charing Cross,' but removed in 1733. The signboard facing the 'Rummer' is inscribed
'Earl of Cardigan.' I cannot find that any Lodge met here previous to the date of the
engraving; but from 1739-42, a Lodge which was constituted 15th April, 1728, and
erased in 1743, held its meetings at the 'Earl of Cardigan's Head,' Charing Cross, and
from 1742-44 its place was occupied by the 'Union French' Lodge, constituted the
17th August, 1732. On the whole, it would not appear that any Masonic memories
were associated with this particular street in Hogarth's mind.” (4)
J. Nichols, in his work, Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth, said, "In
NIGHT, the dmnken Free-mason has been supposed to be Sir Thomas de Veil; but
Sir John Hawkins assures me, it is not in the least like him." (5) Other authorities,
however, seem to differ. It is now generally accepted that Hogarth intended to
satirize de Veil. There is no doubt that he designed the principal caricature to be a
Mason. A Thomas Veal appears in the list of members of Hogarth's first Lodge, and
arguing from the manners of the times, no question remains that Thomas Veal,
Thomas Veil, and Sir Thomas de Veil are one and the same person.
The square on de Veil's breast, suspended from a ribbon about his neck, indicates
either the rank of Master or of Past Master, the emblem being used for the latter
purpose during the early days of the reorganized Craft. The large apron worn by him
is also of interest, and is one of the strongest proofs we have that our aprons were not
always of the present convenient size.
Some doubt exists whether Hogarth intended de Veil's companion to be depicted as a
Mason. Possibly he may be the tyler of the Lodge, judging from the apron and the
sword he carries. Again, he may only be an attache of the tavern where de Veil, to
speak charitably and bearing in mind the convivial spirit of our early brethren, drank
slightly to excess. The sword may have been de Veil's, taken away from him as a
matter of prudence, for he could have done more damage with it than with the cane he
wields against an imaginary opponent. The apron on this man may have served a real
utilitarian purpose back of a tavern bar. The apparent skill of the man in helping de
Veil clearly indicates that this is not his first experience in duties of this kind - a fact
which can be used as a cogent argument for or against the theory that he may have
been a brother of the Craft.
It is generally agreed that the other two figures in the foreground are satirical
characterizations. The knife, or steel, on the belt of one of them is considered to
indicate a butcher, and by analogical play on the word "veal" and the name "de Veil,"
to again point out that the principal figure in the picture is Sir Thomas de Veil.
Another prominent English Mason, W.H. Rylands, himself an artist, has said, "The
picture is a hit, not at Masonry, but at the manners and customs of some Masons of
the period.... There is a secret meaning in every little item of the picture, if one could
only discover it." (6)
OTHER PRINTS OF MASONIC INTEREST
Next to Night, Hogarth's engraving, The Mystery of Masonry brought to Light by the
Gormogons, is of greatest interest to the student. The Gormogons were a secret
society established in 1724 in England in opposition to Freemasonry. Absurd and
intentionally pretentious in character, it claimed a great antiquity and that it was
descended from an ancient Chinese society. It flourished but a short time. Hogarth's
engraving depicts characters of interest to Masons, among them a figure said to
represent Dr. James Anderson, and another the Duke of Wharton, Grand Master
1722-23. Opinions differ as to the original publication of the print, for while it
appeared about 1742, it is believed to have been engraved about twelve years earlier.
Those familiar with Samuel Butler's poem, Hudibras, will remember where Sir
Hudibras resolves to consult Sidrophel, the astrologer, on his love affair with the
widow who had released him from the stocks. This astute doctor of occultism
immediately dispatches his man Whacum to wheedle the squire of Sir Hudibras into
telling him the object of his master's visit. This ascertained, Sidrophel informs
"'The stars your coming did foretel;
I did expect you here, and knew,
Before you spake, your business, too.'
Quoth Hudibras, 'Make that appear.'"
In response to Sidrophel's reply, "You are in love, sir, with a widow," Hudibras
"You're in the right,
But how the devil you came by't
I can't imagine; for the stars,
I'm sure, can tell no more than a horse."
The interview between the two men is cleverly illustrated in the plate entitled
Hudibras Consulting Sidrophel, of which a reproduction accompanies this article.
The two globes, celestial and terrestrial, first attract the attention of the Mason. The
parchment spread on the table, with astrological signs, and the chart on the floor, are
also of interest. The cross on the floor is not so readily recognized, but here
represents a Rosicrucian symbol. The books on the wall, other objects owned by
Sidrophel and which need not be itemized, clearly indicate that
"He had been long towards mathematics,
Optics, philosophy and statics,
Magic, horroscopy, astrology,
And was an old dog at physiology."
The Roast Beef of Old England, or The Gate of Calais, was the result of Hogarth's
visit to France shortly after the peace of Aix la Chapelle. While sketching the gate,
Hogarth was arrested as a spy committed a prisoner to his landlord, and not allowed
to leave the house until he embarked for England. The print is of Masonic interest as
the friar depicted there-in is none other than our brother, John Pine, who prepared the
early engraved lists of the Grand Lodge England so greatly sought after by collectors.
The Sleeping Congregation, first published in 1736, is said to contain a representation
of Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers, Grand Master, 1720, as the preacher therein.
This print appears in different forms, to be recognized by modifications in the plate.
An engraving of Martin Folkes (1690-1754), Deputy Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of England in 1724, was made by Hogarth in 1742. This print is sometimes
overlooked by the Masonic collector, as all proofs do not bear Hogarth's name.
Hogarth also made an engraving of Simon Lord Lovat in 1746, for which there was
an unusually great demand. Lovat is of interest to the Craft on account of his reputed
connection with the Rite of Strict Observance. He was executed April 9, 1747, for
treason, having been implicated in Jacobite plots.
TRIBUTES TO HOGARTH
Students of the literature and art of bygone centuries find a freedom of expression in
surviving works which at first is rather startling; but when one realizes that these are
but a faithful portrayal of the customs and manners of the times, the distaste and
displeasure rapidly pass away. Hogarth is no exception among the artists of the
eighteenth century whose works have been criticised. No better reply can be made to
those who object to his freedom of expression and fidelity to detail than the following
quotation from the Essays of William Hazlitt:
"Boceaccio, the most refined and sentimental of all novel writers, has been
stigmatized as a mere inventor of licentious tales, because readers in general have
only seized on those things in his works which were suited to their ovm taste, and
have reflected their own grossness back upon the writer. So it has happened that the
majority of critics having been mostly struck with the strong and decided expressions
in Hogarth, the extreme delicacy and subtle gradations of character in his pictures
have almost entirely escaped them."
Thackeray also pays his tribute to our eighteenth century brother in the following
"To the student of history, these admirable works must be invaluable, as they give us
the most complete and truthful picture of the manners, and even the thoughts, of the
past century. We look, and see pass before us the England of a hundred years ago -
the peer in his drawing room, the lady of fashion in her apartment; ... the church with
its quaint florid architecture and singing congregation; the parson with his wig, and
the beadle with his cane You see the judges on the bench; the audience laughing in
the pit; the student in the Oxford Theatre; the citizen on his country walk; you see
Broughton the boxer, Sarah Malcolm the murderess, Simon Lovat the traitor, John
Wilkes the demagogue, leering at you with that squint which has become
historical All these sights and people are with you."
Hogarth's own opinion of his life is aptly expressed in the closing words of his
"I have gone through the circumstances of a life which till lately passed pretty much
to my own satisfaction, and I hope in no respect injurious to any other man. This I
may safely assert, that I have done my best to make those about me tolerably happy,
and my greatest enemy cannot say I ever did an intentional injury. What may follow,
(1) Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth; with a Catalog of his storks,
Chronologically Arranged; and Occasional Remarks. Second Edition, London.
Printed for and by J. Nicholik. 1732, p. 5.
(2) Ibid., p. 81
(3) Transactions, Lodge of Research No. 2429, 1908-09.
(4) Ars Quatuor Coronatomm, Vol. II, p. 116.
(5) Nichols, op. cit., p. 211.
(6) Transactions, Lodge of Research No. 2429, 1908-09, p. 112.
(7) Ars Quatuor Coronatomm, Vol. VIII, p. 138 et. seq.
— o —
THE YEAR 1922 IN ENGLISH MASONRY
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
THE YEAR 1922 has been a wonderful year from a Masonic point of view and has
also the distinction, perhaps, of being the most notable in the history of English
Freemasonry. Veterans, hitherto, have always regarded 1874 as the red-letter year of
the Craft, for it was in that year that a popular prince - afterwards King Edward VII -
was elected to the exalted position of Grand Master of England and his brother, the
Duke of Connaught, was initiated into Freemasonry. But, in 1922, another popular
prince - the grandson of that beloved monarch - was invested with the collar of Senior
Grand Warden of England by the royal initiate of 1874, who has proved a most
worthy successor to his brother in the Grand Master's chair. May T.G.A.O.T.U. long
preserve both to adorn the Royal House and the Royal Craft.
The year, moreover, was notable for the important domestic matters which came up
for discussion and decision. The discussion on the question of the future location of
Freemasons' Hall revealed the fact that all who took part in it were animated with one
desire; i. e., the furtherance of the best interests of the Craft. When this is the ultimate
aim any differences of opinion that may arise are quickly adjusted, and when a
decision is arrived at, the minority, - ways transfer their activities to the propagation
of Ythe views of the majority. In connection with the Masonic Million Memorial Fund
it is pleasing to note the progress made during the past year and the increased
enthusiasm and support accorded to the scheme. In all, at the close of the year 479
Fodges had qualified as Hall Stone Fodges, (see note) and of this number no fewer
than 198 qualified during 1922, the third year of the scheme.
When the war broke out it was at once realized that there would be a strain upon all
the Masonic institutions and English brethren at once imposed a standard, which was
to meet all demands, however great and numerous they might be. This was done and
during the past year Masonic benevolence has nobly sustained that self-imposed
standard. The three Central institutions - Boys', Girls', and Old People's - to take them
in the chronological order of their foundation - collected more than 250,000 pounds,
while the Mark Benevolent Fund created a record at its annual festival in its return of
over 10,1 18 pounds, and the Masonic Nursing Home has also made great strides
towards its ultimate; viz., the creation of an endowment fund which shall yield an
income sufficient for all future requirements. The Girls' Institution has accepted 125,
and the Boys 164 candidates.
It is gratifying also to note that although the demands of the Central Institutions, the
Freemasons' Hospital, and the Mark Benevolent Fund have been anticipated rather
than met, Provincial brethren, while responding heartily and handsomely to these
calls, have not been unmindful of their own local requirements. The list is far too long
to give in detail but among the more important of the local schemes mention must be
made of the festival held by East Fancashire brethren at the Free Trade Hall,
Manchester, when more than 58,000 pounds was collected towards the 150,000
pounds required for the erection of Provincial headquarters and a Masonic Hall in that
city. Then the Bristol Masonic Benevolent Institution, which was founded to
celebrate the diamond jubilee of the reign of Queen Victoria, kept its own silver
jubilee and, small though the province is, grants in benevolence amounting to 966
pounds were made. This worthy institution is served voluntarily by its officers and
conducts its beneficent work at the cost only of printing, stationery, and stamps.
Bradford also is taking steps to erect its own Masonic Hall. There are fifteen Masonic
Lodges in that city and they, together with the five Royal Arch Chapters, have formed
a Bradford Masonic Association and a scheme under which every member binds
himself to pay a certain sum spread over a number of years which, in the aggregate,
will meet the cost to be incurred.
In dealing with Masonic benevolence the returns of the Board of Benevolence of the
Grand Lodge of England are a striking commentary on the distress occasioned as the
aftermath of the war. From 1913 to 1918 there was a steady decline both in the
number of applicants for assistance and the sums granted in ret fief. In 1913 there
were 364 cases to whom 15,945 pounds were granted, and in 1918, the figures had
fallen to 217 applications and 10,630 pounds. The rise began in 1919, the year
following the armistice, and the applications and amounts granted in that and
subsequent years were as follows: 1919, 208, 12,475; 1920, 221, 14,975; 1921, 293,
20,340; 1922, 363, 25,470. Previously the highest total in any one month was 2,955
pounds but in May of last year 4,040 pounds were distributed among fifty-six
Another outstanding item during the year was the launching of the new motor
lifeboat, the "Duke of Connaught," purchased and endowed by the Grand Lodge of
England as a thank offering for the safe return of its Grand Master from India.
There seems to be no diminution in the number who assemble in the porches
clamouring for admission into the sacred portals, nor is there any abatement in the
demand for new Lodges. No fewer than 139 warrants for Craft Lodges were issued
during 1922, as compared with 138 in 1921. Fifty-one Charters for Royal Arch
Chapters and twenty-eight warrants for Mark Lodges were also sanctioned, the
numbers for the previous year being sixty Royal Arch Chapters and twenty-three
Mark Lodges. The figures for the last two items may be regarded as healthy, since
they show the continued interest of those who have been privileged to receive
initiation into Craft Masonry.
England has been less favored during 1922 with visits from prominent brethren from
Overseas than in the preceding years, but the passing call of the delegates from the
Northern and Southern Jurisdictions of America on their way to the European
Conference of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, was greatly appreciated, as
was also the visit of the Grand Master of New York.
The obituary list is a lengthy one and includes the names of many well-known in
other spheres, such as the Earl of Halsbury, a one-time Lord Chancellor; Colonel Sir
Charles Hanson, Past Grand Warden, and ex-Lord Mayor of London; Canon Turner,
the beloved Vicar of Sutton, Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of
Surrey; Sir Richard Vassar-Smith, Bart., Provincial Grand Master and Grand
Superintendent of Gloucestershire and Deputy Grand Mark Master; Lord Bolton,
Grand Superintendent of North and East Yorkshire; Colonel Sir William Watts,
Deputy Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of Dorsetshire; Sir
Edward Cooper, Past Grand Warden, another ex-Lord Mayor; Bishop Kennion;
Bishop Macarthur, and Dean Penfold of Guernsey, while Masonic Research is the
poorer for the departure of W. H. Rylands, one of the founders of the Quatuor
Coronati Lodge (who bequeathed his Masonic books and manuscripts to the
Bodleian) and John Angel Sherren, editor of the Dorset Transactions. The Grand
Lodge of England lost one of its hardest and most earnest workers in the Grand
Registrar, Dr. W. F. Hamilton, K. C., and there are many others who joined the Grand
Lodge Above who will be missed for many years to come.
The Colonies have, for a time, the loan of two well-known English brethren. The Earl
of Stradbroke, Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk and Pro. Grand Mark Master, has
become the Grand Master of Victoria, while Viscount Jellicoe has assumed a similar
responsibility in Tasmania.
* To compare the year 1922 with 1921 see THE BUILDER March, 1922, p. 79.
Note: In order to qualify as a "Hall Stone Lodge," the subscription list of a lodge to
the Masonic Million Memorial Fund, including its OWI1 donation, must equal an
average of ten guineas (approximately fifty dollars) per member for fully subscribing
members, and five guineas for members on the Country List. Every lodge qualifying
will be recorded in the new building as a Hall Stone Lodge, and be entitled to a
special jewel to be worn as a collarette by each successive Worshipful Master during
his year of office.
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WAS DR. JOHNSON A FREEMASON? SOME PHASES OF HIS LIFE
BY BRO. ARTHUR HEIRON, ENGLAND
CONTINUED FROM FEBRUARY
THE BUILDER MARCH 1923
The two previous instalments of this wonderfully interesting contribution have
proved so attractive to the worldwide family of readers of THE BUILDER, that
already brethren are asking if Brother Heiron cannot be prevailed to upon to issue his
articles in book form. He has expressed himself as willing to do such a thing if a
sufficient number of Masons evince a desire for it, therefore it is suggested that such
brethren as would wish to possess the volume let the fact be known.
Readers of Bro. Heiron's description of eighteenth century life and manners should
not forget the fact that in those swiftly receding years morals were very different from
our own, and that drinking and carousing were not regarded as now. It was not at all
deemed inconsistent that such a man as Dr. Johnson should be at one and the same
time devout and a lover of wine; or that he should arise from the composition of a
prayer to attend a party at "Old Wapping." Cicero's saying, that "different manners
are given to different pursuits," applies also to difference in time and place, and in
such cases should be supplemented by the antique proverb which has it that one
"should know the customs of a friend but not take a dislike to them."
HIS HOME LIFE
THERE was no special charm in Dr. Johnson's home circle for he took in as lodgers -
chiefly at his own expense - two or three elderly and rather unattractive ladies, one of
whom later on became blind. There also lived with him for many years "Old Levett"
who practised medicine, although he was not a duly qualified doctor; his patients
were poor that they often paid his small fees in food and drink, chiefly "in gin," to
which he was very partial. He also used to physic the learned sage when unwell, and
if you include in the family party the negro-servant (constantly described as "dear
Francis"), the circle must have been a strange coterie indeed. No wonder Johnson
appreciated the refined atmosphere of the Thrales' home at Streatham where he was a
welcome guest for many years.
HIS CAT "HODGE"
Cat lovers will be interested to know that this uncouth and at times rough man was
fond of dumb animals. Boswell tells us, "I never shall forget the indulgence with
which he treated 'Hodge,' his cat, for whom he (Dr. Johnson) himself used to go out
and buy oysters, lest the servants having that trouble should take dislike to the poor
creature." Evidently the negro- servant, "dear Francis," was much too proud thus to
attend to the jaded appetite of the household pet. (Oysters were cheap in those days.
The following statement appeared in the "Daily Mirror" of 2nd September, 1922:- "In
a copy of an account for a banquet given at the George Hotel, Portsmouth, to
celebrate his Majesty King George II's birthday October 30, 1746, appears the
following item; viz., 'Six hundred oysters at Is. 9d. per 100, 10s. 6d.'")
This was the name that the Lodge Room of the "Dundee Lodge No. 9" was known by
from 1763 to 1820, when used for public dances. The lodge only met once a fortnight
and when not in use for Masonic work, our brethren sometimes let the room to
strangers for dancing purposes at 3.3.0 pounds per night, which included the use of
The lodge did not itself officially hold these dances. They only received a rental for
the use of the room (which was forty-four feet long by twenty-five feet wide); but
from 1807 to 1813 the "Dundee Lodge" held its own "Annual Ball" in this same lodge
room. These public dances became popular, and no one could possibly have
"explored Wapping" in those days - as Dr. Johnson admitted he did - without
becoming acquainted with this fashionable resort!
The charge for admission to the "Wapping Assembly" would be small, six pence or
one shilling. On a wintry night (say in 1767) the ballroom resplendent with wax
candles fitted in our two cut-glass chandeliers (for which in 1763 our brethren paid
twenty-five pounds), the pier-glasses on the walls reflecting the dancers, and the sea-
coals burning brightly in the stove, would present a gay and festive spectacle, whilst
our "Sea-Members" and the foreign sailors in the "Port," (including various sea-
captains hailing from the American Colonies) could be relied on to see that things
were kept lively. The following verse from a ballad of Charles Dibdin (1745-1814),
who was well acquainted with sailors' haunts on the river Thames, may help to
reconstruct the scene :-
"MEG OP WAPPING"
"'Twas Landlady Meg that made such rare flip,
Pull away, pull away, hearties!
At Wapping she liv'd at the Sign of the Ship
Where Tars met in such jolly parties.
She'd shine at the play, and she'd jig at the Ball,
All rigg'd out so gay and so topping;
For she married Six Husbands and buried them all,
Pull away, pull away, pull away! I say:
What d'ye think of my Meg of Wapping?"
It is reasonable to suppose that Dibdin was referring to the "Wapping Assembly"
when he wrote these lines, and doubtless was also himself a frequent attendant.
Now as Dr. Johnson was very fond of dancing (constantly being present at
"Ranelagh"), it is the writer's firm belief that the learned Doctor did indeed, as a relief
to his "melancholy," sometimes visit the "Wapping Assembly" and perhaps join there
in a "country dance" (such as Sir Roger de Coverley) or eke a homely "jig" with some
of the ladies of Wapping, of whom there would be an ample supply from the forty
taverns then existing in the neighbourhood. The building, having the sign of the
"Masons' Arms" fixed to the front, must have been well known being close to the
river Thames, and on a dark night our two large oil lamps, also purchased in 1763,
would so clearly illuminate the entrance that passers by could not possibly be
ignorant of its existence.
DR. JOHNSON AND "VESTRIS"
In 1781 Boswell told Johnson that there was a ludicrous paragraph in the newspapers,
that he (Dr. Johnson) was learning to dance of "Vestris" (a well known expert) and he
was asked if the report was true; it is to be noted that Johnson did not deny the soft
impeachment but merely gave an evasive answer. Boswell on one occasion himself
asked Johnson direct: "If he had never been under the hands of a dancing-Master?"
"Aye, and a dancing mistress, too," said the Doctor, "but I never took a lesson but one
or two; my blind eyes showed me I could never make a proficiency yet it is common
knowledge, however, that sometimes a big, fat man makes a very light dancer.
Now if the reader is willing to believe (as the writer is) that Dr. Johnson did in fact
sometimes visit the "Wapping Assembly" (which was merely another name for our
Lodge Room), then it is not difficult to credit that he actually was "Made a Mason" in
the same room in 1767 as suggested in this narrative.
JOHNSON'S LOVE OF FUN AND HUMOUR
It is not correct to consider Dr. Johnson merely in the light of a learned sage and
shrewd philosopher, for according to those who enjoyed his personal acquaintance he
was at times most excellent company. He was not a proud man, and did not often use
the title of Dr. Johnson, being known to his chief friends as "Sam," and nearly always
signing his letters, "Sam Johnson."
FANNY BURNEY'S MEMOIRS OF "GAY SAM," "AGREEABLE SAM,"
Fanny Burney (afterwards Madame D'Arblay) (1752-1840), who was forty- three
years younger than Johnson and during her girlhood knew him well, thus describes
him in her "Diary" :- "Dr. Johnson is very gay and sociable"; "very comic and good
humoured"; she also refers to "his love of nonsense," to "his sport," "his kindness, his
sociability," and sometimes calls him "Dear and excellent Dr. Johnson."
When about twenty-six years old, she visited the "Thrales" at Streatham and met Dr.
Johnson there - he was then nearly 70. They became great friends and the learned
sage grew to love her as the clever young writer who had become famous as the
authoress of "Evelina." Dr. Johnson spoke well of the book, "clasped her in his huge
arms and implored her to be a good girl"; he also taught her Latin, called her his pet,
his dear love, and his dear little Burney"; and she almost loved and reverenced him.
In 1790, Boswell himself called on Fanny Burney - when she was at the Court at
Windsor - and told her "that his book on Johnson was coming out very soon and he
wanted her help." Boswell also said to her, "Give me some of your choice little notes
of the Doctor's, I want to show him in a new light." "Grave Sam, and great Sam,
solemn Sam and learned Sam; all these he has appeared as, over and over. Now I
want to entwine a wreath of graces across his brow."
"I, Boswell, want to show him as 'Gay Sam, agreeable Sam, pleasant Sam,' so you
must help me with some of his beautiful billets to yourself." Fanny Burney however
declined thus to assist Boswell with his book, deeming such private and confidential
letters to be almost of a sacred character. Boswell's "Life of Johnson" appeared the
next year, in 1791; after perusing it, she was most indignant at what she considered
the unkind and unfair way various private incidents in the life of her hero had been
dealt with and said, "How many, starts of passion and prejudice has he (Boswell)
blackened into record."
Mrs. Thrale (afterwards "Piozzi") says in her "Anecdotes of Johnson": "No man loved
laughing better and his vein of humour was rich." As Dr. Johnson had been a constant
guest at her home, and a personal friend for about eighteen years, she was surely well
qualified to express an opinion.
Sir John Hawkins (an old friend and one of Johnson's executors) said, "He was the
most humorous man I ever knew." Boswell said "he possessed uncommon and
peculiar power of wit and humour" and "the heartiest merriment was often enjoyed in
Rev. Benjamin Jowett (at one time Master of Balliol College) in 1883 wrote:- "Dr.
Johnson ought to be described not so much as a sage but rather as a rollicking 'King
AN EXTRACT FROM BOSWELL
Dr. Johnson and Boswell in 1773 having called on a lawyer in the Temple, something
occurred which appeared humorous to the learned author, and Boswell tells us,
"Johnson could not stop his merriment but continued it all the way till he got without
the Temple-gate. He then burst into such a fit of laughter, that he appeared to be
almost in a convulsion; and in order to support himself laid hold of one of the posts at
the side of the foot-pavement, and sent forth peals so loud, that in the silence of the
night, his voice seemed to resound from Temple-bar to Fleet-ditch."
"EATING AND DRINKING"
It was a period when food and drink were cheap and large meals the general custom.
Johnson said to Boswell once, "I mind my belly very studiously and very carefully";
he certainly was a good trenchman.
EXTRACTS FROM "BOSWELL"
1770, (aged 61). "Talking of the effects of drinking, he (Johnson) admitted that at
one time he indulged in excess but finding it bad for his health, abstained for a
period." Johnson also said, "I used to slink home when I had drunk too much."
1776, (aged 67). "When I (Johnson) drank wine, I scorned to drink it when in
company; I have drunk many a table by myself; in the first place because I had need
of it to raise my spirits; in the second place, because I would have nobody to witness
its effects upon me." It is stated that once on a visit to Oxford "he drank three bottles
of Port without being the worse for it."
1779, (aged 70). Johnson spoke with great contempt of claret, as being so weak that a
man would be drowned by it before it made him drunk." He tried one glass, shook his
head and said, "Poor Stuff! No, Sir; claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he
who aspires to be a hero (smiling) must drink brandy."
Boswell reminded him "how heartily they both used to dri nk wine together when they
were first acquainted (in 1763) and how he (Boswell) used to have a headache after
sitting up with him. Dr. Johnson did not like to have this recalled."
1781, (aged 72). Boswell says: "Mr. Thrale told me I might now have the pleasure to
see Dr. Johnson drink wine again, for he had lately returned to it." "The first evening
that I (Boswell) was with Johnson at Thrales', I observed he poured a large quantity
(of wine) into a glass and swallowed it greedily. Everything about his character and
manners was forcible and violent; there never was any moderation; many a day did he
fast, many a year did he refrain from wine; but when he did eat, it was voraciously;
when he did drink wine it was copiously. He could practice abstinence, but not
THE "PRESTONIAN LECTURES"
William Preston (1742-1818) a Scotsman, who came to London in 1760, was a very
keen Mason and being desirous of making our Ritual more perfect, revised - or
perhaps composed - a new or improved system of Masonic lectures which were
formally submitted to certain selected Freemasons in 1772 for their approval, and
were afterwards adopted and used by a large section of the Craft; in fact, it is
generally considered that they form the basis of the "Masonic Lectures" still worked
in England in 1922. They were also introduced (about 1797) with various
modifications into the United States by Bro. T.S. Webb, a well known and expert
Now the printing of Dr. Johnson's "Dictionary of the English Language" and other
works of his, was entrusted by the learned author to his intimate and personal friend
William Strahan, "His Majesty's Printer," who (after 1760), had in his employ as
"reader of the press" and "leading compositor" this same William Preston.
The printing works of Strahan, who was also a Scotsman, were in New Street, Shoe
Lane, London, E. C. - near Johnson's residence - and he must of necessity have paid
many visits to his printer to ascertain the progress of the work from time to time. In
this way Johnson could not help coming into personal contact with William Preston.
As an illustration, on one occasion Johnson found fault with the work done by a
certain compositor named "Manning," and in a passion began to blame him, but
finding him innocent, Boswell tells; us that Johnson candidly and earnestly said to
him, "Mr. Compositor, I ask your pardon; Mr. Compositor, I ask your pardon again
and again." The writer now ventures to make the suggestion that at the request of
Preston, Dr. Johnson personally assisted him in the work of revising these Masonic
Lectures. It was a constant practice of the distinguished author thus to help literary
aspirants and the fact that our Ritual in those days - more even than in ours - was
steeped in reference to the promulgation of "moral truth and virtue" and is based upon
a fervent and sincere belief in the Almighty, and His creative and providential
attributes - would strongly appeal to one imbued with Johnson's religious training and
ethical disposition. If Johnson were willing to assist Rev. Dr. Dodd, a convicted
forger, it is more than probable that he would be inclined thus to help Preston, who
was such a loyal colleague and servant of his own most intimate and personal friend,
Hence it is humbly suggested that to this source our Ritual owes the undoubted
"Johnsonian" influence running through its language; the ponderous words, the
lengthy and involved sentences are, as Macaulay said of fanny Burney's second novel
"Cecilia", "Either Sam Johnson or the Devil."
Dr. Johnson himself defines an "Order" to be "a society of dignified persons
distinguished by marks of honour; a religious fraternity." Now the "Order of
Freemasonry" certainly in his day complied with both these qualifications, and
although all references to any sect or creed are now strictly forbidden in our lodges,
yet in the days of the learned sage, it was the practice (both of the "Modems" and
"Antients") to use Christian prayers in their lodges during the working of the Ritual;
this is made manifest from the following extract taken from "Ahiman Rezon," the
book of "Constitutions" of the "Antients," various editions of which were published
from 1756 to 1813; viz:
"Prayer to be said at the opening of a Lodge, or 'Making' of a brother:
"Most Holy and Glorious Lord God, thou Great Architect of Heaven and Earth, who
art the Giver of all good gifts and graces; and hast promised that when two or three
are gathered together in thy name, thou wilt be in the Midst of them; in thy Name we
assemble and meet together, most humbly beseeching thee to bless us in all our
Undertakings, to give us thy Holy Spirit, to enlighten our Minds with Wisdom and
Understanding, that we may know, and serve thee aright, that all our Doings may tend
to thy Glory and the Salvation of our Souls.
"(To be added when any 'Man is Made'):
"And we beseech thee, O Lord God, to bless this our present Undertaking, and grant
that this, Our New Brother, may dedicate his Life, to thy Service, and be a tme and
faithful Brother Among Us; endue him with Divine Wisdom, that he may, with the
Secrets of Masonry, be able to unfold the Mysteries of Godliness and Christianity.
"This we humbly beg in the Name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord and
This same prayer also appeared in the "Freemasons' Pocket Companion," Edinburgh,
These words breathe the spirit that permeated all the religious writings, utterances and
prayers of Dr. Johnson, and a society promulgating such tenets and doctrines would
surely be one to his own heart. It is a well known fact that many sermons preached
by various clergymen in those days were composed or considerably revised by him,
in some cases gratuitously, but on the distinct understanding that his name as the
author was not to be revealed; he also assisted many struggling writers and revised
their work under the same conditions of secrecy. It is interesting to note that later in
life, William Preston became a partner in the printing firm to whom he had rendered
much useful assistance. The following extracts are taken from a paper entitled "A
Masonic Triad: Preston-Hutchinson-Oliver," written by an expert and skilled Masonic
student, Bro. W.B. Hextall, P.G.D., a P.M. of Quatuor Coronate Lodge No. 2076;
reprinted from Lodge of Research, Leicester, No. 2429, Transactions 1911-12. Bro.
Hextall states that "William Preston, was bom at Edinburgh in 1742, son of a writer
to the signet. In 1760 he came to London and was employed by William Strahan,
'Kings Printer' as 'corrector of the press,' who on his death in 1785 left him an
annuity. Under Andrew Strahan, who succeeded his father, he became chief reader
and general superintendent until 1 804 when he was admitted to the firm (who then
traded as 'Strahan and Preston'), and that his literary capability was considerable is
Further evidence that Dr. Johnson was personally acquainted with William Preston
and enjoyed his friendship appears from the fact that on Preston's death in 1818, there
were found in his library various presentation copies of books made to him by the
following noted writers; viz., Robertson, Hume, Gibbon, Blair and "the moral and
philological (Dr.) Johnson."
Preston introduced his Masonic Lectures at "A Grand Gala in honour of Freemasonry,
held at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand on 21st May, 1772." In 1774, the
Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1, of which Preston was Master, met at the "Mitre"; both of
these taverns were constantly frequented by Dr. Johnson (who was often
accompanied by Boswell), thus giving ample opportunities for mutual intercourse;
and finally Preston's address was "Dean Street, Fetter Lane," quite close to Johnson's
home. Surely, surely, Bro. William Preston, a keen Mason, a Scotsman, and the
R.W.M. of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 1, would have easily recognized as a
Freemason, Bro. James Boswell, - also a Scotsman - the Deputy Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1776!
Brethren will remember that these Craft Lectures were the chief method of imparting
Masonic knowledge in English Lodges during the period we are now discussing, the
Ritual itself being then of comparatively short duration.
JOHNSON'S PERSONAL APPEARANCE
Boswell tells us: "His figure was large and well formed, and his countenance of the
cast of an ancient he .... He also had the use of only one eye." "So morbid was his
temperament that he never knew the natural joy of a free and vigorous use of his
limbs; when he walked it was like the struggling gait of one in fetters; when he rode,
he had no command or direction of his horse, but was carried as if in a balloon." He
was prone to superstition, but not to credulity.... He was a sincere and zealous
Christian, of High Church England and monarchical principles."
1763, (aged 54). Boswell called on Dr. Johnson one morning at his chambers which
were then on the first floor of No. 1, Inner Temple Lane, and tells us: "His furniture
and morning dress were sufficiently uncouth. His brown suit of clothes looked very
rusty; he had on a little old shrivelled unpowdered wig which was too small for his
head; his shirt-neck and knees of his breeches were loose; his black worsted stockings
ill-drawn up; and he had a pair of unbuckled shoes by way of slippers." Johnson
himself said that "he had no passion for clean linen."
His ways did not please everybody; when he was Boswell's guest in Edinburgh in
1773, Mrs. Boswell did not like "his irregular hours and uncouth habits, such as
turning the candles with their heads downwards when they did not burn bright enough
and letting the wax drop upon the carpet"; and she galled him "a bear." Boswell's
father also did not fully appreciate Dr. Johnson and described him as "a brute."
DR. JOHNSON'S BLACK SERVANT
In 1752, shortly after his wife's death, Johnson took into his service a black boy (a
negro born in Jamaica), aged 15, named "Francis Barber," who remained in his
employ for about thirty years so that Dr. Johnson had up to his death in 1784 as his
personal servant or valet, "a negro," constantly described by Boswell as "dear
The Doctor by his last will bequeathed the residue of his "estate and effects" (worth
about 1,500 pounds) to this same "Francis Barber" and described him in his will as
"my man-servant, a negro." Now as Johnson's entire property only amounted to about
2,000 pounds, it was certainly a handsome legacy, but the gift was severely criticised
by his executor and old friend, Sir John Hawkins (who actually had to pay over the
money); he described "Francis Barber" as "crafty, selfish and mean," and "entered a
caveat against ostentatious bounty and favour to negroes." Various personal friends
were quite overlooked by Dr. Johnson in his will, even his favourite step-daughter,
Lucy Porter, who had shown him much hospitality on his visits to Lichfield, was
ignored; while the faithful "Bozzy" (whom Johnson often told, possessed his love) in
spite of an intimate friendship of twenty years, did not even receive a book by way of
souvenir; in fact, his name was entirely omitted as if Dr. Johnson had never heard of
his existence, yet the negro-servant received 1,500 pounds! [Note. Over twenty
books were bequeathed by Johnson to sixteen of his friends, but Boswell was quite
DR. JOHNSON'S WEDDING-RING
On the death of his elderly wife (Mrs. Elizabeth Porter) in 1752, Johnson carefully
preserved her wedding-ring "as long as he lived, with an affectionate care, in a little
round wooden box." This sacred relic ought certainly to have been either given or
bequeathed by him to his wife's daughter, Lucy Porter, to whom Dr. Johnson (her
step-father) wrote less than a year before his death, calling: her "my dearest love."
Instead of which this much cherished ring went with the gift of the residue to "Francis
Barber." He had enough grace, however, to offer it to this lady, but she declined to
accept it from such a source, and eventually this sacred relic adorned the hand of the
wife of Johnson's negro- servant! It is now preserved with other interesting souvenirs
in "Johnson's House" at Lichfield, where the learned sage himself was born in 1709.
It is obvious that if "Francis Barber" had written his own "Memoirs" we should have
learnt much of Dr. Johnson's domestic life for "no man is a hero to his own valet."
It is fair, however, to state that in those days people often kept a "black boy" on their
(The pictures of this period painted by William Hogarth (1697-1764) and others,
constantly include a black servant in the family circle.)
The following extract is taken from "A Souvenir of the Bi-Centenary, 1713-1913, of
the Westminster Past Overseers Society" compiled by Bro. J.E. Smith, former vestry-
clerk to St. Margaret's Westminster:-
"To be sold, a negro boy aged eleven years. Enquire at the Virginia Coffee House, in
Threadneedle Street, behind the Royal Exchange." (The Daily Journal, 28th
"For Sale, a healthy negro girl, aged about fifteen years, speaks good English, works
at her needle, washes well, does household work and has had small pox." (The Public
Ledger, 31st December, 1761.) Fancy making similar purchases in 1922 in the heart
of the City of London!
"TAXATION NO TYRANNY" (1775)
Dr. Johnson's attitude as to the controversy concerning the right of Great Britain to
tax her colonies was most unfortunate, but in spite of strong protests from Boswell,
Burke and other of his friends who sympathized with our American cousins in their
efforts for freedom, he was obdurate to the end. Events have proved how foolish and
wrong he was; and if Dr. Johnson were to revisit the earth he would be the first
acknowledge his error. Perhaps being in receipt of Government pension of 300
pounds a year biased his judgment. How different would the history of the world
have been, if wiser counsels had then prevailed and settlement arranged on peaceful
terms. It is interesting to note that the leaders on the side of the American colonists
which resulted in the "Declaration of Independence" on the 4th July, 1776, were
nearly all Freemasons.
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THE SECRET SOCIETIES OF CHINA
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
IN 28TH November, 1889, Mr. Stewart Culin read a paper on Chinese Secret
Societies in the United States at the annual meeting of the American Folk Lore
Society. He gave many particulars of a secret society known as I Hing existing
among the Chinese labourers of the United States. From personal observations and
research he was able to identify the Society as a branch of the Hung League. The
designation I Hing, meaning "Patriotic Rise," is the watchword originally taken by
one of the chiefs of the Triad Society. There was a lodge in New York and branches
in Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore. A large proportion of the members attended
Christian Sunday schools and professed to be Christians. Native and Christian
ceremonies are said to have been alternately performed at the dedication of the
Society's lodge room in New York in October, 1887. Mr. Culin adds:
"The I Hing Society is said to claim to be affiliated to the Masonic Order, and in New
York City a Masonic print representing the two pillars surmounted with globes and
resting on a tessellated pavement with the square and compasses, the eternally
vigilant Eye, and in large red letters the words IN GOD WE TRUST hangs on the
wall of the lodge room. The Society is usually described to foreigners by those who
speak English as the 'Chinese Freemasons,' and as such it has become generally
known to the outside world. In my opinion the Chinese have been misinformed with
reference to the identity of the I Hing with the Masonic Order. It is a belief in which
they would receive much encouragement, as there is a popular tradition that lodges of
native Freemasons exist in China, which is credibly received by members of the Craft
with whom I am acquainted."
THE TRIAD SOCIETY
The full name of the San ho hwuy, or the Triad Society is really "The Society of the
Three United," the three being Heaven, Earth and Man, which according to the
Chinese doctrine of the Universe, are the three great powers in nature. One story of
the origin of this Society gives an elaborate description of the manner in which the
inmates of a monastery near Foochow came to the aid of a Manchu Emperor in one of
his foreign wars. As a reward they were given and for several centuries enjoyed great
privileges, but their descendants became the victims of official tyranny. Their
monastery was either destroyed or taken from them and they went through the land in
search of their revenge. Then it was that they came to the decision to put forward the
Ming pretension, and members of the Brotherhood went to different provinces to stir
up disaffection and to point popular aspiration towards a desirable end. The records
of the society say that it was organized in 1689 by a party of Buddhist priests who
had suffered cruel injustice at the hands of the Emperor Kangshi. Another story is
that the Society revived during the reign of the Emperor Yung-cheng (1723-1736)
when the iniquitous cruelties and exactions of an infamous judge in Fuh-kien set the
spark to the powder of discontent, and that the Emperor's destruction of a celebrated
Buddhist temple was the prime cause which prompted the five priests who survived
the outrage to raise the standard of revolt. The members of this Society, however, do
not appear on the pages of history as open insurgents until the last quarter of the
eighteenth century. Formosa was the scene of their rebellion, in which a female
leader, Chen, whose record is said to rival that of Lucrezia Borgia, is said to have
figured prominently. Its membership was composed of the disaffected of all classes
and in their secret meetings they abused the government, cursed the emperor and his
laws, while in their mysteries they laid the foundations of a coming kingdom in which
the golden age of China was to be realized.
During the reign of the Emperor Klia King (1799-1820) the Society spread rapidly
through Cochin China Siam, and Korea, its headquarters being in the southern
province of the empire. It was not until 1806 that the authorities got the upper hand
of its machinations and the ringleaders were seized and put to death. The emperor
was told that "There was not so much as one member of the rebellious fraternity left
under the wide expanse of the heavens." So far however, from such being the case the
Society was still working in a subterranean manner and presently came to the surface,
more powerful than ever, under the name of the Hung League, or, as it is more
generally and more appropriately known, the Great Hung League. Originally the
Society does not appear to have been particularly harmful and, apparently, was
formed for mutual assistance, but as time progressed it aimed at political power, the
overthrow of the government and the approbation of theft and robbery. Their ill-
gotten gains were shared among the members of the Society in proportion to their
rank, and the members were pledged to defend and protect any of their number from
The government of the Society was in the hands of three brethren: Yih ko, Urh ko,
and Sen ko, meaning "Brother first," "Brother second," and "Brother third." The
members generally are called Heung te, or Brethren." Initiation took place at night in
a very retired or secret chamber. Offerings were presented to an idol placed there,
before which also the oath of secrecy was taken. It is said that there were thirty-six
oaths, and as there are thirty-six sections of the oath taken by initiates of the Hung
League (as well as of the Gee Hin Society) this is probably correct. Doubtless many
of the particulars given under the Hung League apply also to the Triad Society. In the
initiation there was a ceremony called Kwo keaou, or "crossing the bridge," or taking
the oath under an arch of steel, formed by the members who held up their swords,
points meeting, in the shape of an arch. When the member took the oath he cut off the
head of a cock, as is usual on the occasion of a solemn oath taking. The seal of the
Society was a five-angled figure with a character in each of the five comers
representing Saturn Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The Master of the Lodge
was referred to as "Incense Lord," the Lodge itself was called Muhyang City (a city in
the Ming dynasty) while the innermost part of the Lodge was known as "Red flower"
pavilion. In addition to the three principal officers of the Lodge there were two
subordinate officers and inner and outer guards, the two last named wearing wave-
shaped swords. There were three degrees in the Society and certificates and badges
were issued to all initiates. On initiation the upper garments of the candidate were
removed; he was then robed in white garments; his shoes and stockings were taken
off, and he was given straw sandals to put on his feet.
HUNG LEAGUE CONTINUATION OF TRIAD SOCIETY
The T'hian Ti Hwui, or the Hung League, was a continuation of the Triad Society.
The meaning of Hung is "flood" and it is said that this name was chosen by the
leaders of the new organization as an intimation that the Society was to flood the
earth. The headquarters have never been discovered, but the directing power appears
to centre in three individuals. The Chief has the title of "Elder Brother," and the two
others take the title of "Younger Brothers." The Society has extensive ramifications
but the branch are known under various names, some even retaining the old name of
the Triad, others taking the names "Blue Lotus," "Golden Orchid," etc. About 1820,
the chief leader of the League was one Kwang Sang. It was reported that, to make
himself ferocious, he once drank gall, taken out of a murdered man's body, mixed
with wine. About that time also the League developed into a band of rebels and
robbers. In 1849 there was a revival through the efforts of a certain Hung-siu-tsiuen
("He who accomplishes the glory of the Hung League"). He changed the name of the
League into the Shangti-hwui, "The League of God," or "The Association of the
Supreme Ruler." He was, however, indicted by the government and executed. One of
his successors, named Yung, who became Grand Master of the League, was known as
"the Eastern King." He named himself the younger brother of Jesus and pretended
that the Holy Ghost made known the Divine Will through his mediumship. There
was a revival of the League's activity in 1850, when Yae-ping-wang, a noted
revolutionary leader, made another attempt to restore the Ming dynasty, from which
he pretended to be descended. With his defeat the League, for a time, fell into
obscurity. In the spring of 1863 a quantity of books was accidentally discovered by
the police in the house of a Chinaman at Padang (Sumatra), who was suspected of
theft. These books contained the statutes, oaths, ceremony of initiation, catechisms,
descriptions of flags, and the secret signs of the Uague. For nearly all the information
relating to the League we are indebted to Gustav Schlegel, who translated this mass
of documents seized by the Chinese government and placed in his hands for that
purpose. These were translated into English and published by him in 1866 in one
large volume entitled T'hian ti hwui, The Hung League or Heaven-Earth League.
New members, he says, are obtained in several ways. If the initiated are not able to
seduce the people to enter the League by an enumeration of the griefs against the
Tartar sway and, in this way, excite them to throw off the dominion of the hated
usurpers, recourse is had to threats. A person may And same day in his house a chit
of paper, stamped with the seal of the Society, by which he is ordered to betake
himself at a certain hour to such and such a place, under the menace that if he dares to
disobey, or breathe a word of it to the authorities, he and his while family will be
murdered and his house and possessions burned down. Sometimes, too, he is stopped
on the road by an unknown who gives him a similar order. Violence is also used.
One of the members insults a person on the road by giving him a slap on the face.
The man, of course, pursues the offender, who leads him, in this way, to an isolated
spot. Here, at last, he stands at bay, but the scuffle has scarcely begun when, on a
given signal or whistle of the initiate, several members of the League appear and
knock the man down. The victim is then thrown into a bag and carried away to the
place where the Lodge is held. If any refuse to enter the league they are led away by
an executioner outside the West Gate of the Lodge where their heads are cut off at
The ritual of initiation is very lengthy and elaborate, there being no fewer than 333
questions and answers prior to the actual ceremony, each answer being accompanied
by a verse of poetry, sometimes two, or even three verses.
DESCRIPTION OP THE LODGE
The Lodge is built in the form of a square, east to west, surrounded by walls, which
are pierced at the four cardinal points by gates, the faces of which are adorned by
triangles, the mystic, symbol of union. The Lodges are always erected in out-of-the-
way places, safe from the observation of the mandarins; in towns and populous
neighbourhoods, the meetings are held at the house of the Master. Within the
enclosure is the Hall of Pidelity and Loyalty, where the oaths of membership are
taken. Here also is placed the altar of the precious nine-storied pagoda, in which the
images of the five monkish founders are enshrined. The candidate is introduced to
the Hall of Fidelity under a bridge of swords formed by the members holding up their
swords in the form of an arch; he then takes the oath and has his queue cut off, though
this ceremony is dispensed with if he lives among Chinese who are faithful to the
Tartar rule; his face is washed and he exchanges his garments for a long white robe,
as the token of purity and the commencement of a new life. He is then led up to the
altar where he offers up nine blades of grass and an incense stick, while an
appropriate stanza is repeated between each offering. A red candle is then lighted and
the members worship heaven and earth by pledging three cups of wine. This done,
the seven starred lamp, the precious imperial lamp, and the Hung lamp are lighted and
prayer is made to the gods beseeching them to protect the members. The oath of
thirty-six articles is then read and each member draws some blood from the middle
finger and drops it into a cup partly filled with wine. Each neophyte having drunk of
the mixture, strikes off the head of a white cock as a sign that all unfaithful brothers
shall perish. Then each new brother receives his diploma, a book containing the oath,
the rules and secret signs, a pair of daggers and three Hung medals.
The secret signs are numerous and by means of them a brother can make himself
known by the manner in which he enters a house, puts down his umbrella, arranges
his shoes (in the form of a square, toes meeting), holds his hat, takes a cup of tea, and
performs a number of other actions. Every member is provided with a copy of the
seal printed with coloured characters on silk or calico. It is pentagonal and inscribed
with a number of Chinese characters, but no translation of it seems to be possible.
The League is governed by the Masters of the five principle Lodges. Each Lodge has
for its officers: President, two Vice-Presidents, Master, two Introducers, Fiscal,
thirteen Councillors, one of whom is Treasurer, another Receiver, and a third Acting
Receiver. Some of the members are called Horse-leaders and bring them into the
Lodge. Two agents are also appointed to each Lodge, who are sent about on behalf of
the League, which pays their travelling expenses. At the same time they are allowed
to undertake commissions for the members of the League.
One of the clauses of the Penal Code of China runs:
"All those vagabond and disorderly persons who have been known to assemble
together and to commit robberies, and other acts of violence, under the particular
designation of Tien ti hwui, or "The Association of Heaven and Earth," shall
immediately after seizure and conviction suffer death by being beheaded; and all
those who have been induced to accompany them, and to aid and abet their said
practices, shall suffer death by being strangled."
The Mongol dynasty established by Jenghiz Khan and his followers owed its
downfall mainly to the energetic action of the Hung League and if it had not been for
the support Great Britain gave to the government of China in its struggle with the
Taipings, who trace their origin to this League, the Manchu dynasty then would have
shared the fate of the Mongol emperors.
In the Straits Settlements there was little difficulty in obtaining information about the
League, which was recognized by the government, and some valuable particulars
concerning it were imparted by Mr. W. A. Pickering in two papers read by him at the
meetings of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in May, 1878, and June,
1879, the names of tens of thousands of office-bearers and members being, he said,
registered with the government. His information was practically complete, since not
only was it obtained from conversations with the Sien-sengs or Masters of the
Lodges, but also from perusal of the numerous manuals or catechisms which passed
through his hands, some copies of which he possessed. He traced the foundation of
the League as a political society to 1674, but at the time at which he wrote it had
degenerated into an association of, at the best, very questionable characters, the
objects being to carry out private quarrels and to uphold the interests of the members,
either by means of the law or in spite of it, and to raise money by subscription, or by
levying fees on brothers and gambling-houses in the districts controlled by the
various branches. However degenerated the Society may have become, Mr. Pickering
held to the opinion that originally, in the long past, it was a system similar to
freemasonry and that its object was to benefit mankind by spreading a spirit of
brotherhood by teaching the duties of man to God and to his neighbour. The motto
adopted, whether acted on or not was, "Obey Heaven and Work Righteousness."
AN INITIATION IS DESCRIBED
Mr. Pickering gives an account of an initiation ceremony which he witnessed in a
well-disciplined Lodge in Singapore, which ceremony lasted from 10 P.M. until 3
A.M., when some seventy new members were admitted into the Society.
Theoretically all meetings are held in the jungle or mountains and every new member
was instructed to reply, when asked where he was initiated: "In the mountains, for
fear of the Ching officials."
Just inside the outer door of the Lodge was the famous Red Baton (a staff of thirty-six
Chinese inches in length), which was used as an instrument of punishment and from
which one of the office-bearers derived his title. Any person who wished to enter the
Lodge was required to take up the baton with both hands and repeat the following
"In my hands I hold the red cane,
On my way to the Lodge I've no fear,
You ask me, brother, whither I go,
You come early but I walked slow."
Any stranger failing in this test ought, according to the rules of the League, at once to
Another gate, which, like the former, was guarded by two officers of the Lodge, had
to be passed before the Hall of Sincerity and Justice was reached. Two flags above
the portal bore the inscription: "Dissipate revenge and put away all malice," while on
the doorposts was the following couplet:
"Though a man be not a relation, if he be just he is worthy of all honour.
A friend if he be found destitute of honour, ought to be repudiated."
The next step was to the "City of Willows," which had four gates, real or represented,
each surmounted by a couplet, while inside the "City of Willows" was the "Red
Flower Pavilion." Above the Pavilion was the grand altar with the pulpit of the Sien-
Seng, or Master of the Lodge. Passing through the circle and out by the west door of
the Pavilion was reached the "Two-Planked Bridge," supposed to be guarded by the
spirits of deceased brethren. The right hand plank of the bridge was supposed to be of
copper and the left of iron, while on the bridge were hung various coins. Underneath
were three stepping stones arranged in the form of a triangle, over which candidates
passed to the fiery valley or the red furnace, guarded by a malignant though just
spirit, who scrutinized the hearts of all who approached him and mercilessly slew all
the traitors with his spear, consigning; their souls to the flames. Finally, the end of the
dangerous journey was reached on arrival at the "Market of Universal Peace" and the
"Temple of Virtue and Happiness." Fruit of five kinds was sold in the market and the
following couplet was inscribed over the temple:
"In this happy place, if there be any impurity, the wind will cleanse away.
In this virtuous family, there will be no trouble; the sun will continually illumine the
The candidates, having purified their bodies by ablution, and after donning clean
clothes, were prepared for initiation in a room convenient to the Lodge, on the Right
of the "Market of Universal Peace." Each candidate was introduced by an office-
bearer, who was responsible for him that for four months after his initiation the new
member would not even come to words with the brethren and that for three years he
would not break the more important of the thirty-six articles of the oath. Each
candidate paid a fee of $3.50, two of which went to the Lodge treasury, the remainder
being expended in fees to the office-bearers and the expenses of the evening. The
surname, name, age, place and hour of birth, were entered on the register of the
Society and copied on a sheet of red paper. The queue of each candidate was
unbraided and the hair allowed to flow loosely down the back; the right shoulder and
breast were bared, and the candidate was deprived of all possessions, except a jacket
and short trousers. The candidates were addressed by the Master, who gave a
description of the origin and objects of the League, concluding with the following:
"Many of our oaths and Ceremonies are needless and obsolete, as under the British
government there is no necessity for some of the rules, and the laws of this country do
not allow us to carry out others; the ritual is however retained for old customs' sake.
The real benefits you will receive by joining our Society are, that if outsiders oppress
you, or in case you get into trouble, on application to the Headmen, they will, in
minor cases, take you to the Registrars of Secret Societies, the Inspector General of
Police, and the Protector of Chinese, who will certainly assist you to obtain redress; in
serious cases we will assist you towards procuring legal advice."
Mr. Pickering was informed by many old office-bearers of societies that forty years
previously the punishments of the league were carried out in their integrity and that
on one occasion some strangers (called in the slang of the Society "draughts of wind")
were actually beheaded for intruding on a meeting of the League held in the "jungle."
THEIR SECRET SIGNS AND PASSWORDS
After the address to the new members the Master explained to them the various secret
signs and passwords, which were of great use to those who travelled in the Native
States and through the Archipelago. Those secrets were, however, then only revealed
in a very elementary manner; a familiar knowledge could only be obtained by
attending Lodges of Instruction which were frequently held, after notification to the
government. The Master then unbraided his queue and put on a suit of clothes and a
pure white turban, his assistants also arraying themselves in white, but with red
turbans and with white straw shoes laced over white stockings. With right shoulder
bare, the Master passed through the gate into the Hall of Sincerity and Justice and the
east gate of the City of Willows, repeating an appropriate verse at each stage, the
candidates being left behind. When he arrived at the altar in the Red Flower Pavilion
he lighted certain lamps and burned a charm to drive all evil spirits away. With a
sprig of pomegranate and a cup of pure water he sprinkled the altar at the four points
of the compass, to cleanse the offerings from all impurities. After certain other
ceremonial, in which blades of grass and incense sticks appeared, the Buddhist and
Taouist gods, angels and spirits, with the five ancestors and others were invoked to
descend, at monotonous length, the invocation concluding with the words:
"This night we pledge that the brethren in the whole universe shall be as from one
womb, as begotten by one Father, and nourished by one Mother; that we will obey
Heaven and work righteousness; that our faithful hearts shall never change. If august
Heaven grants that Beng be restored, then happiness will return to our land."
Libations of tea and wine were then poured out and sacrifices offered. Officers were
placed at all gates, when, at a given moment, there came an alarm at the Ang Gate,
outside which the candidates were squatted on the ground, waiting admission. The
officer who answered the alarm returned to the Master and said:
"May it please the Worshipful Master, the Vanguard General Thien Iu-Ang is
without, having the secret sign and password, and he humbly begs an interview with
the Five Ancestors."
The Master, having granted admission the Vanguard enters the gate and having
repeated the appropriate verses at each barrier, passed into the city and fell prostrate
before the altar. The Master then catechised him as follows:
"Q. The Five Ancestors are above , but who is this prostrate before me?
A. I am Thien Iu-Ang of the Ko-Khe Temple.
Q. What proof can you show of this?
A. I have a verse as a proof.
Q. What is the verse?
A. I am indeed Thien lu-Ang, bringing myriads of new troops into the city.
That they tonight in the Pear Garden may take the oath of brotherhood.
The whole Empire desires to take the surname Ang.
Q. For what do you come here?
A. To worship the Thien Te-hui.
Q. What proof do you bring?
A. In this verse:
Heaven produced the Sun-Moon Lord (Beng) whose surname is Ang.
But from north to south the wind has blown him where it listed.
All the heroic brethren of Ang are now associated together, to restore the rightful
Waiting for the dragon to appear, when they will burst open the barriers, and overturn
Q. Why do you wish to worship the Heaven and Earth Society ?
A. In order that we may drive out the Cheng and restore our Beng.
Q. Have you any proof?
A. In this verse:
We have searched the origin and inquired exhaustively into the Cause,
And find that the Cheng took from us by force our native land.
Following our leaders we will now restore the Empire.
The glory of the Beng shall appear and the reign of righteousness shall be established.
Q. Do you know that there is a great and a small Heaven and Earth Society?
Yes, the great Society originated in Heaven and the lesser at the waters of the three
How can you prove this?
By the following verse:
Our Society was originally established at the Sam Ho
And multitudes of Brethren took the oath of allegiance.
On the day when the principles of Heaven shall be carried out
Our whole family shall sing the hymn of universal peace.
Q. What evidence do you bring?
A. In this verse:
The sun and moon issuing from the East clearly,
The army is composed of countless myriads of Ang heroes,
To overthrow the Cheng and restore Beng is the duty of all good men,
And their sincerity and loyalty will at last be rewarded by rank and emolument."
Mr. Pickering says it is really astonishing to hear a clever Master and Vanguard go
through the lengthy catechism of 333 questions and answers in this manner correctly
without reference to a book or paper, although the Master has the ritual before him on
the altar. This portion of the ceremony lasts for nearly an hour, during the whole of
which time the Vanguard is kneeling, and at its conclusion, the Master addresses him
"Having thoroughly examined you, I find that by your satisfactory replies, you have
proved yourself to be the real Thien Iu-Ang; the Five Ancestors graciously accept
your answers and petitions, so kotow and return thanks for their benevolent
The Master then presents a sword and warrant flag and gives him permission to bring
in the candidates for initiation. They enter in pairs and after giving particulars of
themselves subscribe to the oath and are formally admitted.
THE KO-LAO-HWUI ASSOCIATION
The Ko-lao-hwui association was in 1 896 said to be numerically the most powerful
secret society in China, numbering then more than a million members, its
organization being as perfect as the erratical Chinaman could make it. It is a direct
offspring of the famous Hung League and, like that Society, each branch is governed
by three principal officers. The southern and central provinces of China form the
main centers of its activity, and the provinces of Hunan, Fuhkien, and Canton are
especially honeycombed with its branches. Some of these branches are known under
different names. One, the Golden Lily Hui, flourishes in the western provinces of
China. The members generally are divided into four sections, marshalled
respectively under white, black, red, and yellow flags. Ostensibly the objects of the
Society are for the mutual protection of the members against the plunder and
extortion practised by the civic officials when dealing with the pay and maintenance
of the troops, and the Society was at first a purely military association. In more
recent years, however, the recruits have been gathered from the dregs of society -
time-expired soldiers, unemployed and professional thieves - but, for their own
safely, as many house-holders as possible seek initiation and, sometimes, are forced
to join should they prove unwilling voluntarily to enrol. On various occasions
members of the Society have been found guilty of organizing risings against the
government. The Society is anti-foreign, anti-missionary, and anti-dynastic. Its
banners are inscribed with the words "Faith and Righteousness," though the means
employed to attain the ends would scarcely come within those virtues; Initiation
consists in killing a cock and drinking its blood, either by itself or mixed with wine
The ticket of membership is a small oblong piece of calico or linen stamped with
Chinese characters, but as the Society is proscribed, the possession of one of these
vouchers, if discovered, entails immediate execution by the authorities.
The Tsing-lien-kiao, or the Wonderful Association, is a secret society which arose in
China in 1800. It is supposed to have been the Pe-lin-kao under another name. Its
members conspired unsuccessfully against the ruling dynasty. The members are said
to have abstained from animal food, wine, garlic, and onions. They took fearful oaths
to conceal their secrets from even their nearest relatives. They met only at night.
In all probability this Society was the parent of the Vegetarians, the members of
which eat no meat and neither smoke nor drink. In 1 896 the members committed
ruthless murders on English missionaries in the neighbourhood of Foochow and it is
said that from their ranks the Boxers of 1900 were largely recruited.
THE TEA SOCIETY
The Tsingeha Man, or the Tea Society, is another Chinese Society. All that is known
of it is from a report of a prosecution of some of its members, which appeared in the
Peking Gazette in June, 1816, from which the following is extracted:
"That on the first and fifteenth of every month, the votaries of this sect burn incense;
make offerings of fine tea; bow down and worship the heavens, the earth, the sun, the
moon, fire, water, and their deceased parents. They also worship Buddhas and the
founder of their own sect. In receiving proselytes they use Choh-kwai (bamboo
chopsticks) and with them touch the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose of those that join
their sect, commanding them to observe the three revertings and the five precepts.
They lyingly and presumptuously affirm that the first progenitor of the clan of Wang
resides in heaven. The world is governed by three Buddhas in rotation. The reign of
Yentang Fuh is past; Shihkia Fuh now reigns; and the reign of Milih Fuh is yet to
come. These sectaries affirm that Milih Fuh will descend and be bom in their family;
and carry all that enter the sect, after death, into the regions of the west, to the palace
of the Immortal Sien, where they will be safe from the dangers of war, of water, and
of fire. Because of these sayings they deceive the simple people, tempt them to enter
the sect, and cheat them out of their money."
The Chang Society or clan is a local Chinese society numbering some ten thousand in
Fuhkien, so well organized that the emperor's writs were only circularized by
permission of the chiefs of the Order.
The Tien chu kiau was a society organized by Catholics for the propagation of the
Faith. There was nothing secret about it but the Chinese government classed it
among the prohibited societies and suppressed it. The Emperor Yung Cheng classed
Catholics with political societies and ranked their meetings among the dangerous
There is one androgynous secret society in China, which is known as the Golden
Orchid Society, the female members of which take an oath never to marry. They not
only threaten, but they positively commit suicide upon any attempt to coerce them
into marriage. At one time this society became such a serious menace that the
authorities were compelled to adopt severe measures of repression.
The Hip Shin Tong, or "Hall of United Virtues," is an independent local Chinese
secret society in Philadelphia, U.S.A. It is really an association for the purposes of
blackmail, or what is known in California as a "highbinder" society. The
membership, says Mr. Stewart Culk, is entirely recruited from the ranks of I Hing.
— o —
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - ELISHA KENT
BY BRO. G.W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
DR. KANE, one of the most illustrious of modern explorers, scientists, and
geographers, was born in Philadelphia of Quaker parents in 1820. As a boy he
possessed a courageous and daring spirit and always tried to excel other boys in
sports and physical exercises. He was a brilliant student whose thoughts and pleasures
tended always to run along the line of popular science. He matriculated at the
University of Virginia at the age of 17, and became the honor student in chemistry,
mineralogy, and physical geography. While at the University he suffered a severe
attack of heart trouble: this should have been a warning to him, but he paid little heed
to it and continued to work as hard as ever. He always seemed to have an almost
abnormal love for the cold: while other men went about in overcoats he felt
He later attended the University of Pennsylvania medical school where he received
his degree at the age of 22. Shortly afterwards he entered the navy. His biographers
disagree among themselves as to the nature and extent of his service, but I have taken
the pains to unearth his official naval records from the offices of the Navy
Department and therefore feel secure in stating the facts. Dr. Kane was commissioned
as assistant surgeon in the Navy on July 21, 1843, and was ordered to the East India
squadron, in which he served until August, 1845, when he was ordered to the
Philadelphia navy yard. A year later he was ordered to the frigate "United States."
Later he was given a leave of absence to "recruit his health," which proves that he
was still struggling with his old malady. On November 2, 1847, after he had been
examined for promotion, he was ordered to the city of Mexico to serve with the
Marines and remained with them until July 25, 1848, after which he was again
examined and promoted. In 1849 he served on board a supply ship for a few months
and was then ordered for duty on a coast survey vessel. After this he was assigned, so
the record shows, to an "Arctic expedition"; the record is dated after May 8, 1850.
The chronological records of an officer do not often show the purpose or nature of his
duty but one may learn from other sources that Dr. Kane was made a surgeon under
Lieutenant E. J. DeHaven who had charge of the "Advance," which was one of the
two vessels sent to the Arctic in search of Sir John Franklin. The vessel was owned
by Mr. Henry Grinnell of New York. No trace was found of the unfortunate Franklin
expedition, although a most diligent search was made. British authorities later sent
another expedition in search of Franklin but this was not enabled to report any
Dr. Kane, who had become deeply interested in Arctic exploration, wrote an
interesting report of his own trip and at the same time took occasion to present his
views of a better plan than had hitherto been planned. Upon this Mr. Grinnell came
forward with the offer of another ship in 1853, hereupon Dr. Kane fitted out an
expedition and made a hazardous voyage, attended with any privations and much
suffering. He did not find Franklin but he discovered an open polar sea. His ship
became an ice-bound prison, and Dr. Kane and his associates made friends with the
Eskimos, learned much of their language and of their customs, and were enabled to
contribute much to the geography of the polar regions. He was obliged to abandon his
ship in 1855 and march about twelve hundred miles to a Danish settlement in the
south of Greenland, the march being over broken and often floating ice the whole
weary way. The party reached home in October of that year and was received with
much enthusiasm by both America and England. Dr. Kane's health was broken so that
he was compelled to make a trip to England for special medical treatment. His return
from Greenland had been in the famous bark "Release" which the Government had
sent for the purpose.
Dr. Kane died in Cuba in 1857, where a medallion has been recently erected, and this
unfortunately is the only memorial of this great man. The last record made in the
Navy Department reads as follows: "The records further indicate that he died on the
16th of February while on special duty, the character of which the records do not
seem to show." Some of his biographers alleged that he served a while in the Army
but from the records just quoted it appears that they are in error.
It is worthy of note that when the House of Representatives was informed of the death
of this famous explorer it adjourned out of respect for his memoir and yet no one
thought of a memorial to him. His remains were removed to the family burying
ground in Laurel Fill Cemetery, Philadelphia, and there, as one of my correspondents
informs me, lie in a vault surrounded by natural rock, having no memorial of any
It remained for Freemasons to make up the neglect of the Government by honoring
the memory of a hero of science and exploration. In the Proceedings of the Grand
Lodge of New York, 1922, you may read the following significant words: "Brother
William E. Somners, of New Jersey, while on a visit to Havana in 1920, discovered
the site of the house where Dr. Kane had died. Feeling that the friendly act of the
Cubans deserved recognition, he enlisted the interest of the Grand Lodges of New
York and New Jersey. A beautiful memorial tablet was designed and cast under the
direction of Brother Henry M. Moeller, secretary of Kane Lodge No. 454 of New
York. The tablet was unveiled in February, 1922, with impressive public ceremonies
R. W. Harold E. Lippincott, Judge Advocate, represented the Grand Lodge of New
Dr. Elisha Kent Kane was made a Mason in Franklin Lodge No. 134 in Philadelphia.
So far as I have been able to learn he never held any office in the lodge. Kane Lodge
in New York was named after him which shows that his fellow Masons have not
forgotten his membership in the Order, or his zeal and fame in science.
— o —
CHAPTERS OF MASONIC HISTORY
BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
EDITOR THE BUILDER
The paper below is the first of a new series of Study Club articles to cover, chapter by
chapter, the more important periods and features of Masonic history. I have
condensed and simplified to the limit of my ability but even so I know that beginners
may find some passages difficult. This difficulty lies in the subject matter, which is
stubborn and complicated to a degree, and therefore means that readers themselves
must cooperate by a willingness to read and re-read, and to study. Surely the subject
is worth it! Vibert's "Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges," Vibert's
"Story of the Craft," Newton's "The Builders," and Gould's "Concise History of
Freemasonry" may be read in conjunction with these papers. Of the many articles on
Masonic history that have already appeared in THE BUILDER lists will be printed at
the end of each monthly instalment; so also with titles of books consulted. By the
time the series is completed the reader will have traversed the whole field of the
general history of the Craft and be all the happier in his Masonic life in consequence,
and much better equipped to take a part in its activities. Hitherto we have carried in
the department a stereotyped page of suggestions to Study Club members and leaders;
for the sake of space, which grows more valuable each month, we are omitting such
matter. In its place we have printed a booklet on "How to Organize and Maintain a
Study Club" which will be furnished free to any brother asking for it.
PART I - FREEMASONRY AND THE CATHEDRAL BUILDERS
I - WHAT GOTHIC WAS
THE WORD Gothic has become associated in our minds with much that is most
beautiful in the world - cathedrals, churches, spires and an old manner of decoration -
but to the Italian artists of the Renaissance who gave the world its currency it had
quite a different meaning, and was used by them as a term of reproach to signify the
culture of the northern barbarians, especially of German blood, who had broken off
from classical traditions. Vasari appears to have been responsible above any other
individual for this usage.
Gothic was at first applied to the whole barbarian (I use the word here in its
Renaissance sense) culture; but later, and after men had begun to understand and to
appreciate it, was more narrowly applied to that which was most distinctive in
barbarian culture, the architecture; and at a still later period, and through popular
usage, it became associated almost entirely with religious architecture, and more
especially with the cathedrals, so that we find the great New English Dictionary
giving it the following definition:
"The term for the style of architecture prevalent in Western Europe from the Twelfth
to the Sixteenth Century, of which the chief characteristic is the pointed arch; applied
also to buildings, architectural details, and ornamentation. The most usual names for
the successive periods in this style in England are Early English, Decorative, and
This definition is not as accurate as it might be. Many authorities on the history of
architecture would not agree with the statement that "the chief characteristic is the
pointed arch"; they have other theories of the matter. Nor is it safe to apply the word
only to architecture, because there were Gothic styles in dress, in bridges, in walls, in
furniture, in ornamentation, in manners, and even in household utensils. It happens
that little is left of Gothic save church edifices, but that is because war has destroyed
Some of the best writers on the subject, Lethaby for example, whose work is to be
recommended for its energy, interest and scholarliness, make Gothic to be equivalent
to everything specifically medieval in art, which would include stained glass,
manuscripts, poetry, etc. These writers point out that it was not until the nineteenth
century archaeologists had come, under the leadership of De Caumont and his
fellows, that men began to give a narrow usage to the word. "The word," writes
Arthur Kingsley Porter, "first applied as an epithet of approbrium to all medieval
buildings by the architects of the Renaissance, was given a technical meaning by De
Caumont and the archaeologists of the nineteenth century, who employed it to
distinguish buildings with pointed arches from those with round arches, which were
called Romanesque." Some writers continue to refuse to use the word at all; Rickman
prefers "English Architecture"; and Britton, "Christian Architecture." Dr. Albert G.
Mackey says, "that Gothic architecture has therefore very justly been called 'The
Architecture of Freemasonry;"' but of that more anon.
The old Roman style of building, on which all subsequent styles in Western Europe
were based until the coming of Gothic, and which came to be called Romanesque,
was organized on a very simple principle, and had its beginnings, at least so far as
temples, churches, and cathedrals were concerned, in the ancient basilica. A flat roof
was laid across four walls, like the lid on a box. If the roof was ridged or arched the
walls had to be thickened in order to take care of the side thrust, so that in the largest
buildings, where much interior space was needed, the walls were necessarily given a
massive thickness; and this thickness in turn made it necessary to use small windows
lest the anchorage furnished by the walls be weakened and the building collapse. In
consequence of this, Romanesque buildings were like military fortifications in their
squatness, their ponderousness, and their interior gloom. The Gothic architects
escaped from these unfortunate results by employing the pointed arch which enabled
them greatly to increase their interior heights; and they learned how to take up the
side thrusts of these arches by means of flying buttresses, rather than by heavy pier-
like walls. This removed the great weight from the side walls and enabled the
builders to substitute glass for stone, thus destroying at once the old unpleasant
gloominess. In the course of time the system of pillars, arches and flying buttresses
became a kind of thing in itself, like the frame-work of a machine, so that the skeleton
of a building became self-sufficient, and might be said to dispense with walls
altogether. It is this frame-work, so organized as to be self-supporting, that most
distinguishes Gothic as a whole from its predecessor, Romanesque; such features as
made this feat possible - the arch, rib vaulting, and the buttress - being secondary.
This is the point of Violet-le-Duc's famous description of Gothic, ably summarized by
C. H. Moore in these words: "A system which was a gradual evolution out of
Romanesque; and one whose distinctive characteristic is that the whole character of
the building is determined by, and its whole strength is made to reside in, a finely
organized and frankly confessed, frame-work, rather than in walls."
Moore has himself furnished a definition yet more famous, and easily comprehended:
"In fine, then, Gothic architecture may be shortly defined as a system of construction
in which vaulting on an independent system of ribs is sustained by piers and
buttresses whose equilibrium is maintained by the opposing action of thrust and
counterthrust. This system is adorned by sculptures whose motives are drawn from
organic nature, conventionalized in obedience to architectural conditions, and
governed by the appropriate forms established by the ancient art, supplemented by
colour designs on opaque ground and more largely in glass. It is a popular church
architecture - the product of secular craftsmen working under the stimulus of national
and municipal aspiration and inspired by religious faith."
Moore finds the key to Gothic in the flying buttress. Other authorities have other
theories. Porter finds it in the rib vault; Phillips in the pointed arch, which he makes
to be the alpha and omega of the whole system; Gould believes that stone-vaulting is
paramount; while Lethaby appears to find the quintessence of Gothic not in this one
feature or in that but in the general medieval character of it as a whole.
II - WHO INVENTED GOTHIC?
There has been a great deal of difference of opinion among the historians of
architecture as to where and when Gothic began. English writers, who have a very
natural desire to claim for their own land the glory of the discovery of the art, date it
at 1100 A.D. or earlier, and find its first manifestations at Durham; whereas French
writers almost unanimously hold that Gothic began first of all in the region round
about Paris, in what was once called the lie de France, and say that the Abbey Church
of St. Denis, begun in 1 140, is to be regarded as the first known Gothic monument. It
appears that a majority of the more modem writers incline to agree with the French
theory. Porter dates the new style as beginning in Paris about 1163, and says that it
reached its culmination in the year 1220, with the nave of Amiens.
Goodyear, in his Roman and Medieval Art, gives a fairly accurate and quite
condensed account of the origin and growth of Gothic in a paragraph very suitable for
quotation in this connection. He say's that "the late Gothic is known in France as the
'flamboyant'; i.e., the florid (or flaming). Otherwise the designation of 'early,' 'middle'
and 'late' Gothic are accepted. It must be understood that there are no definite limits
between these periods. Speaking generally, the late twelfth century was the time of
Gothic beginnings in France, and it is rarely found in other countries before the
thirteenth century; the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries are both periods of great
perfection, and the fifteenth century is the time of relative decadence. Both in
Germany and in England the thirteenth century was the time of the introduction of
Gothic. In Italy it was never fully or generally accepted. Within the field of the
Gothic proper (i.e., excluding Italy), England is the country where local and national
modifications are most obvious, many showing that the style was practised more or
less at second hand. In picturesque beauty and general attractiveness the English
cathedrals may be compared with any, but preference must be given to the French in
the study of the evolution of the style." (Page 283.)
Whence did the Gothic architects derive the secret of their new art? Theories are as
numerous as they are various, and they range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Lascelles believed that the builders had learned their pointed arches from cross-
sections of Noah's ark! Stukeley and Warburton held that they stumbled upon their
new principle while trying to imitate the secret groves of the Druids. Ranking argued
that Gothic is Gnostic in character, and brings to bear a great mass of data.
Christopher Wren argued that it had been borrowed from the Saracens. Findel and
Fort both attribute the discovery of the art to the Germans; with this Leader Scott
agrees in her now famous Cathedral Builders, except that she seems to hold that the
Comacine Masters were the missionaries who carried it into France and into
England. Dr Milner believed Gothic to have been a modification of Romanesque
arches, a theory with which many agree. In a contribution to Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum that made much of a stir at the time, Hayter Lewis urged that such a
definite and clearly articulated principle must have been the work of one man, and
suggested Suger, the minister of King Louis le Gros of France, which country was at
that date a little strip about Paris not much larger than Ireland. Governor Pownall
believed that Gothic was derived from timber work practices; whereas some Scotch
theorists have believed it derived from wicker work. Gilbert Scott, a writer of great
authority in his day, rejected all these particular derivations and argued that Gothic
evolved gradually, orally, and inevitably out of conditions already existing in
architecture and in society; with this Gould agreed, as do a majority of present day
writers. Gould is the whole matter up in a sentence: "The researches of later and
better informed writers, however, have made it clear that the Gothic was no imitation
or importation, but an indigenous style, which arose gradually but almost
simultaneously in various parts of Europe." (History of Freemasonry, Vol. I, p. 255.)
Ill - WERE GOTHIC ARCHITECTS THE FIRST FREEMASONS?
At the time that Gothic made its appearance almost all art, including architecture, was
still under control by the monastic orders; but with the development of the cathedrals
art passed into lay control. It believed by some that the scarcity of records concerning
the builders themselves is due to the pride of chroniclers, almost always ecclesiastic,
who disdained to mention the workmen except in the most general way. These
workmen, like almost all other craftsmen of their period, were organized into guilds.
Guilds differed among themselves very much with time and place but through all
their various changes retained well defined characteristics. Each guild was a
stationary organization which usually possessed a monopoly of trade in its own
community, the laws of which were binding on the craftsmen. The guilds of one
trade wielded no control over those of another, but all together agreed on certain rules
and practices, such as those that appertained to apprenticeship, buying raw materials,
marketing, and all that. In some communities, the guilds became so powerful that a
few historians have confused their government with that of their city, but it is
probable that this never happened frequently, if at all.
It is believed that, owing to peculiarities in their art, the guilds that had cathedral
building in charge became differentiated from others in some very important
particulars. If this really happened it was a most natural result of the circumstances
under which the cathedral builders laboured. Theirs was a unique calling. All other
buildings were wholly unlike cathedrals, and it was not often that cities were able to
afford the luxury of one, so that there never was a great plenty of work for them to
do. Also, their craft was peculiarly difficult, and involved the possession and learning
of many uncommon trade secrets, so that the very nature of the work differentiated
the cathedral building craftsman from other guild members. It is believed by cautious
historians that after a while the authorities, recognizing the uniqueness of the
cathedral builders' art, granted them certain privileges and immunities, and permitted
them to move about at will from place to place, which in itself set them sharply apart
from the stationary guilds, each of which was not permitted to do work outside its
own incorporated limits; and many writers believe that because of this freedom to
move about unrestricted by the usual medieval curtailments of privilege, that these
guilds, or Masons (the word means "builders"), came at last to be called
"Freemasons." Governor Pownall wrote a page once to prove that even the popes
granted these builders special privileges, but subsequent researches in the Vatican
library never enabled him, or other researchers after him, to unearth the papal bulls.
IV - DID GOTHIC BUILDERS COMPRISE ONE BIG FRATERNITY?
Writers of the old school used to believe, almost unanimously, that these medieval
Freemasons were bound together into one great unified fraternity operating under
single control from some center, such as London, Paris, York, and they argued that
this it "one big fraternity," with certain important but not revolutionary changes,
existed right down to our own time, and that the Freemasonry of today is virtually
that same organization that it was then. R. F. Gould, (see note) who spoke for a
whole group of first-class English Masonic scholars as well as for himself, flatly
denied this whole theory in the most sweeping and unequivocal manner. "I have
shown," he said, on page 295 of the first volume of his History of Freemasonry, 'that
the idea of a universal body of men working with one impulse and after one set
fashion, at the instigation of a cosmopolitan body acting under a certain direction
is a myth." On page 262 of the same volume he remarks that the theory of a universal
brotherhood "is contradicted by the absolute silence of all history." With this verdict,
Arthur Kingsley Porter, who wrote solely as a historian of medieval architecture, and
not with any of the problems of Freemasonry in mind, agrees, and on very much the
Gould bases his negation almost entirely on the testimony of the buildings
themselves, and argues that whereas a writer here and there might be mistaken the
buildings cannot be, and he holds that they one and all offer a united testimony that
they were not the work of "one big fraternity" but represent local peculiarities not to
be overlooked. His examination of the Gothic architecture of the various countries,
with the purpose in view of revealing their testimony on this important point, is one
of the most magnificent achievements in his monumental History. It is probable that
the great majority of present day historians of medieval architecture would agree with
The history of the various arts and devices that made Gothic possible seems to
corroborate this position. Every fact known concerning the evolution of Gothic
proves that it came into existence gradually, and that no organization ever possessed
its secrets at any one time, and that the arch, the flying buttress, the rib vault, and the
other features so characteristic, were learned through painful experience, and
independently of each other. Porter speaks of the flying buttress as "a new principle"
and one "that more than any other assured the triumph of the rib vault and a principle
whose discovery marks the moment when Gothic architecture first came into
existence." On page 92 of Volume II of his great work, Medieval Architecture, a
masterly production the reading of which is urged upon every student of
Freemasonry, he writes as follows: "Hence it is probable that the advantages and
possibilities of the flying buttress were not immediately appreciated at their full
value, and, while the new construction was freely applied in cases where the
threatened fall of the vault demanded its application, edifices even of considerable
dimensions still continued to be erected without its aid." This important feature,
without which Gothic could never have come into being, was the work of gradual
experiment, and builders learned about it slowly, here a little, there a little, and in
some places they never mastered it at all: had the secret of the flying buttress been
known in advance to any one big fraternity of craftsmen, all this painful and costly
evolution would have been unnecessary.
The same thing may be said of the pointed arch which was so essential to Gothic that
it has often given its own name to the style. Porter shows that the arch as a unit of
construction was very old, and used long before the Crusaders took Jerusalem; and
that it was adopted by Gothic builders slowly and only under compulsion; its use for
ornamental purposes alone came late, and in the beginnings of Gothic the builders
clung to their use of the old-time round arch as long as possible.
There is no need to multiply instances. Geometry, which was sometimes used as
being synonymous with the art of building itself, and more particularly with Gothic,
and which was of such obvious importance, was never known as a merely abstract
science, and came gradually to hand after countless experiments and trials of failure
and success. There is no evidence that any body of men ever possessed it at once and
in its entirety, which is what would have been necessary to "one big fraternity" having
the enterprise of medieval building in hand. The history of Romanesque
ornamentation in Gothic structures tells a similar tale; and so also the use of stained
glass, which Porter traces to the lie de France, and which came into existence
gradually and by slow degrees.
In short, the history of the art verifies the testimony of the buildings themselves; all
was a gradual evolution, and after the usual fashion, out of contemporaneous
conditions and from preexisting methods and customs. When one casually glances
back on medieval history from the ease of his armchair, and looks upon it as a
spectacle hanging in the air, Gothic may appear to have come into existence almost at
once, like the goddess rising from the head of Zeus; but a more careful examination
of the facts proves that the old theory of one big fraternity bestowing on the world a
whole new art and a whole new culture to be a pleasant delusion.
One could also add to the argument the testimony of history, which is the testimony
of silence. If Gothic art was the possession of one big fraternity, then that astonishing
society must have had also in hand the building of highways, bridges, walls, private
dwellings, fortresses, miles, and it must also have taught the people how to make their
garments and to ornament their residences because, as has already been said, Gothic
art was continuous with medieval art it society endowed with such wisdom, and
working in every center in Europe, would have been as universal as the Catholic
Church of those days, and would have left as voluminous a record; but as the fact
stands there is such a lack of records, even of the cathedral builders, that even now,
and after a century of constant research on the ground by experts, very little is known
of the cathedral builders, so that it is necessary to feel one's way in the dark whenever
one sets out to learn something about them.
Gothic architecture was not the outcome of the labours of any one group but of all the
groups and classes that made up the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries in
Europe and in England. In the latter country one need only recall the reigns of Henry
II and of King John, from whom Magna Charta was wrested to remember what a
ferment everything was in, and how vigorous was the communal life. In western
Europe it was the same. The successors to the Capets created in the Frankish
territories, and with Paris as its center, an empire comparable to old Rome itself. It
was the time when cities arose to independency, when kings became powerful
monarchs as against the divisive rule of feudal lords and barons; when the papacy
extended its power to the limits of Christendom, with the consequence that something
like unity was affected in the moral and religious life of the peaces; and this moral
and religious life became powerful enough to send the crusaders into Palestine for the
capture of Jerusalem. "The greatest of all the marvels of the Gothic cathedral is the
age which produced it. Amid the broils of robber-barons, amid the clamour of
communes and contending factions, amid the ignorance and superstitution of the
Church, this lovely art, at once so intellectual and so ideal, suddenly burst into
flower. It seems almost like an anachronism, that this architecture should have arisen
in the turbulent Middle Ages. Yet Gothic architecture, although in a sense so
distinctly opposed to the spirit of the times, was none the less deeply imbued with that
spirit of the times, and can be understood only when considered in relation to
contemporary political, ecclesiastical, economic, and social conditions. For the XII
century, despite its darkness, was yet a period far in advance of what had gone before
- so far that M. Luchaire does not hesitate to name it 'la Renaissance francaise.'
"The intellectual revolution was accompanied by an economic upheaval no less
radical. Herr Schmoller has even compared it to that which took place in the XIX
century. In the cities the workmen were freed from serfage, and commenced to unite
themselves into free corporations; and the same process was at work in a less degree
among the villeins or serfs of the country. The economic advantages of this
emancipation were incalculable. The pilgrimages, the journeys of the French chivalry
into all parts of Europe, above all, the crusades, opened to the merchants a field of
activity undreamed of heretofore. The guilds of merchants, which ever became more
numerous and stronger; the commercial relations that were established between
Normandy and England; the redoubled prosperity of Montpellier and Marseille; the
multiplication of markets; the increasing importance of the great fairs Champagne -
all these conditions betray a radical transformation in the material condition of the
population. Everywhere the condition of the labourer was made easier; everywhere
the cities increased their economic productions, and extended their traffic;
everywhere bridges were rebuilt and repaired; everywhere new roads were opened.
And with commerce, came wealth." (Pages 145, 147, Porter's Medieval Architecture
This new life also manifested itself in theological speculation, some of which was so
audacious that men were martyred at the stake for the sake of their opinions; in
philosophy and the study of law; in polities and in art. A new life broke forth
everywhere, and out of its richness there came, as its consummate blossom, the
But how, it may be reasonably inquired, are we to amount for the unity of Gothic art
at a time when the world was very much divided, and intercommunication among
countries very difficult? The question is well taken, but it can be easily answered.
The unity of the craft was due to the unity of the work done by the craft; Gothic
technique imposed its own unity upon the workmen and their activities as such things
always do. Phillips has shown that if one will lay out a chart showing the building of
each French cathedral in succession the sites will begin thickly about Paris and then
widen out in concentric curves, thus proving that the new architectural knowledge
learned at the center radiated itself out, as knowledge is apt to do.
We have in our midst abundant examples of such a progress. The world is now full
of steam engines of various kinds, but not for that reason do we believe that the secret
of steam has even been the private property of a secret organization; we know that the
steam engine began with Watt in 1789 and that each inventor has copied the work of
his predecessor and added improvements and modifications of his own. There are
hundreds of medical schools over this land and in other countries which use the same
technical terminology (comparable to the "secret language" of the old cults); they
employ the same types of instruments; have similar rules; and one and all furnish
their students such an education as is formally recognized in other schools across the
world. We know that this unity of medical organization was never brought about in
the beginning by "one big fraternity"; it grew out of the nature of the technique
employed; the formal unity now possessed by national medical associations is not the
cause, but the result, of the unity imposed by the profession itself.
I believe that a similar thing happened as regards Masonic guilds in the Middle Ages.
Those bodies had a unity, but it was due to the nature of the work, and came about
inevitably. They exchanged memberships, as medical, or law, or art societies now do,
and that because the work done was everywhere pretty much the same. They
developed an ethic of their own profession and held all guilds strictly thereto, as did
the stationary guilds, and as do local medical and similar societies, always self-
governing, in our own day. The unity which thus developed out of the nature of the
work itself gradually crystallised into constitutions and traditions; and this unity
finally, in England of the eighteenth century, and owing to profound changes in the
conditions under which the guilds, or lodges, operated, became transformed into the
formal unity that is represented by the authority and power of Grand Lodges. From
the time early in the twelfth century when the cathedral building guilds first began to
be, until Speculative Freemasonry was born in 1717 as a formally organized society,
there was never a break in the historical continuity but there were very important
evolutionary changes. Legally and technically our present Freemasonry began in
London in 1717; historically, and in a wider view, it began in Europe in the eleventh
or twelfth centuries.
But even in those early days the builders did not begin from the beginning. They had
predecessors and ancestors upon whose shoulders they stood, and out of whose art
they evolved their own. It will be necessary to take these into account, in order to
complete the picture; this will be done in a few chapters to follow, and as introductory
to a further development of the theme presented in this.
Note: Gould's "History of Freemasonry" was in reality the work of a group of men
and it was the original intention to have the names of all appear on the title page. I
have this information direct from one of the members of the group. H. L. H.
What did the word Gothic originally mean? What is the definition given by the New
English Dictionary? How does Lethaby define Gothic ? Give substance of Porter's
description of Gothic. What was the principle upon which Romanesque architecture
was based ? Describe the general principle of Gothic architecture as explained by
Brother Haywood. Give Moore's explanation in your own words. Can you name any
specimen of Gothic architecture in your own community? Can you name any Gothic
cathedrals in the United States? Why is Gothic architecture deemed particularly
appropriate for church buildings? Have you ever in your own mind connected Gothic
architecture with Freemasonry? If so, what has been your theory of that connection?
Where and when did Gothic begin? Give in your own words a sketch of Gothic
history. What are some of the various theories of the origin of Gothic? What has all
this to do with the history of Freemasonry?
What was a Guild? Why were the Gothic buildings different from others? What is the
meaning of the word Mason? How did the word "Freemasonry" come into existence?
What was the theory of "one great fraternity"? What is Gould's verdict concerning
this theory? In what way does the history of Gothic art tend to disprove the "one great
fraternity theory"? Give examples to show that Gothic architecture developed
gradually. Tell something about the age in which Gothic came into existence. How
do you account for the unity of the Craft in the Middle Ages? Give some modern
examples. The majority of historians of "Freemasonry" agree that our fraternity had
its rise among Guilds of the Middle Ages: how would you state that theory in your
own words? What bearing has this theory on our interpretations and obligations of
present day Freemasonry?
Medieval Art - W.R. Lethaby.
Westminster Abbey and the King's Craftsmen - W.R. Lethaby.
Architecture - W.R. Lethaby.
Freemasonry before the Existence of Grand Lodges - Lionel Vibert.
Story of the Craft - Lionel Vibert.
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. Ill, p. 13; 70.
Ibid., Vol. XXXIII, p. 114.
New English Dictionary on Historical Principles.
History of Freemasonry - R.F. Gould, Vol. I, chapter 6, p.253.
Medieval Architecture - Arthur Kingsley Porter, Vol. II.
Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry - Robert I. Clegg, p. 814.
Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry - G.F. Fort.
History of Freemasonry - J.G. Findel, p. 76, (1869 edition).
Freemason's Monthly Magazine, (Boston), Vol. XIX, p. 281.
Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry - Edward Conder
The Cathedral Builders - Leader Scott
The Comacines - W. Ravenscroft.
A Concise History of Freemasonry - R.F. Gould, 1920.
Roman and Medieval Art - Wm. H. Goodyear.
Development and Character of Gothic Architecture - Charles Herbert Moore.
History of Architecture - James Fergusson.
History of Architecture - Russell Sturgis.
Art and Environment - L.M. Phillips.
How to Know Architecture - Frank A. Wallis.
History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders - Hughan and Stillson, p. 747.
The Builders - J.F. Newton, p. 97.
Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods - J.S, Ward, part 1, chapter 6.
Mackey's Encyclopedia - (Revised Edition):
Antiquity of the Arch, p. 74; Architecture, p. 75; Basilica, p. 99; Bridge Builders of
the Middle Ages, p. 117; Builder, p. 123; Cathedral of Cologne, p. 159; Cathedral of
Strasburg, p. 729; Freemasons of the Church, p. 150; Gilds, p. 296; Giblim or Stone-
squarers, p. 296; Geometry, p. 295; Gothic Architecture, p. 304; Implements, p. 348;
Operative Masonry, p. 532; Secret Vault p 822; Sir Christopher Wren, p. 859; Stone-
Masons of the Middle Ages, p. 718; Stone of Foundation, p. 722; Stone Worship, p.
727; Symbolism of the Temple, p. 774; Traveling Masons, p. 792.
Vol. I (1915) - Regensburg Stonemason's Regulations, pp. 171, 195; Whence Came
Freemasonry? p. 181.
Vol. II (1916) - Masonry Universal, p. 29; Steinbrenner, p. 158; Masonic Traditions,
p. 189; Joseph Findel, p. 221; A Significant Chapter in the Early History of
Freemasonry, Nov. C.C.B. 4; Operative Masonry, Dec. C.C B. 1.
Vol. Ill (1917) - Antiquities, p. 181; Masonic History, p. 204; The Guild and York
Rites, p. 242; Freemasonry and the Medieval Craft Guilds, pp. 342, 361; Worthy
Operatives Cathedral Builders, p. 349.
Vol. IV (1918) - George Franklin Fort, p. 171; The Masonic Writings of George
Franklin Fort, p. 210.
Vol. V (1919) - Mackey's History of Freemasonry, p. 53; Legendary Origin of
Freemasonry, p. 297; Quatuor Coronate, p. 300.
Vol. VI (1920) - Speculative Masonry, p. 130; A Bird's-Eye View of Masonic
History, p. 236.
Vol. VII (1921) - Whence Came Freemasonry? p. 90; Three Good Books on the
Guild Question, p. 195; "The Evolution of Freemasonry," p. 360.
Vol. VIII (1922) - Gould's Concise History of Freemasonry, p. 23; Masonic Fegends
and Traditions, p. 57; Craft Guilds and Trade Unions, p. 63; Traveling Craftsmen, p.
102; A New Brief History of Freemasonry, p. 120; "Freemasonry and the Ancient
Rites," p. 151; Freemasonry of the Middle Ages and International Society, p. 331.
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CHANGES IN OUR OFFICIAF FAMFY
BY THE EDITOR
It is our regretful duty to announce that Brother W. E. Atchison resigned his position
as Assistant Secretary of this Society on January 1st. In severing this connection
Brother Atchison terminated a period of some six years of service which has been
signalized, especially during the period of the World War, by zeal and industry, so
that the hearty good wishes of all will go with him to his new labors. He has accepted
a position in the Service Department of the Masonic Service Association of the
United States, of which Brother Andrew F. Randell, P. G. M., Texas, is Executive
Secretary. It may be observed here, inter alia, that the National Masonic Research
Society and the Masonic Service Association are two entirely separate and distinct
organizations which, though they work together in harmonious cooperation, has each
one its own task apart from the other.
Meanwhile - we now pass to the other side of the ledger - we are happy to announce
the appointment of Brother Jacob Hugo Tatsch as Assistant Editor of this Society.
Brother Tatsch is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but he has for a long time lived
on the Pacific coast, where he served in the banking business for some seventeen
years. During the World War he was commissioned a Captain of Infantry and as such
organized and commanded what is now Co. A, 161st Infantry; and was also on active
duty in the Military Intelligence Division of the United States Army during the last
year of the War.
Brother Tatsch was raised in Oriental Lodge No. 74, F. & A. M., Spokane,
Washington, on June 28, 1909, and served his lodge as Worshipful Master in 1914.
He was appointed Junior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of
Washington for 1914-15, and Grand Orator for 1917-18. He received the 32d of the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Oriental Consistory No. 2, Spokane, in 1909,
and has held various appointive and elective offices. He is one of the American local
secretaries of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London, and is affiliated with the
following bodies: Lodge of Research No. 2429, Leicester, England; Manchester
Association for Masonic Research, Manchester, England' International Masonic
Association, Geneva, Switzerland; Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Foerderung
Freimaurerische Wissenschaftlicher Forschung, Hamburg, Germany. He is a charter
member of the National Masonic Research Society.
For many years Brother Tatsch has been an indefatigable student of Freemasonry and
has to his record many valuable pieces of research, especially in the field of Masonic
bibliography, of which he has an expert knowledge. He enjoyed the distinction last
year of contributing a treatise to the Lodge Quatuor Coronati of London, England, an
honor that has gone to only a few American brethren. In addition to his duties as
Assistant Editor of the Society, Brother Tatsch will superintend our book and
publishing department. All inquiries sent to this office concerning books will receive
his personal attention.
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FREEMASONRY IS A LIFE OF GLADNESS
WAY BACK in the 'eighties a distinguished English brother wrote a treatise on "The
Worship of Death" in which learned document he undertook to show that
Freemasonry is in line with the ancient cults and creeds that taught it is the duty of
man in this life to keep his thoughts fixed on the dissolution of the body. There was a
certain fitness in this preachment because the Freemasonry of the period was more or
less funereal in its make-up, - repressed, rigid, shut-eyed, introspective, and very
much given to brooding on the mystery of the coffin, and the skull and cross-bones.
Lodges were dark and solemn places; and Masonic ceremonies were considered as
reminders of the vanity of life and the certainty of death. Is the picture overdrawn ?
Perhaps. Most such pictures are. Nevertheless the characterization will serve to
remind one of what most struck the candidate in a lodge in the old days.
There is a funereal note in Freemasonry, even in the Freemasonry of this new day,
and there should be, because death and all the last mysteries that surround it belong to
the scheme of things human: but for all that there is no reason in the world why any
Mason should let his Masonry be swamped by a cheerless gloom, a pall-like
solemnity. Quite the contrary, for Masonry is in its very nature, if we shall but
consider it, life, and light, and cheer, and should be lived as such. Masonry does not
teach that death ends all, but that life ends all. It does not teach that everything is
swallowed up in the grave, but that everything, the grave included, is swallowed up in
the power and love of God. It does not teach that man should succumb to the assaults
of time, or the bludgeons of the assassins and villains of bad fate and unfortunate
circumstance, but that one may arise from his graves in the rubbish with many
Such teachings should make one glad, not sad. And so also with the activities of the
Craft by which a man is surrounded. Membership in the Fraternity armors a man
against the slings and arrows of outraged fortune. He finds himself among friends; he
enjoys hospitality and fellowship: he learns how good and blessed a thing it is for
brethren to dwell together in harmony. The work of Masonry, like all its teachings,
adds to the gaiety of nations and the joy of life. "Let there be light" is addressed to the
heart as well as to the mind, and might very easily be translated into the other words,
"Be of good cheer."
The solemn men, apparently so aged in spirit, who write so many of our books and
compose so many of the articles that appear in our periodicals, are misled by the
trappings and outward apparel of the Order. There is no need that they be so
lugubriously sad, so heavy hearted, so leaden footed, so sunken eyed. Nobody will
expel them from the Craft if they compose a cheerful song once in a while, or even
contrive a bit of humor.
Of course nobody enjoys seeing grown men acting the fool on a lodge floor. Nobody
enjoys the spectacle of a lot of men who take no interest in anything save lunches.
Least of all does anybody desire to see the legitimate work of lodges side-tracked in
favor of dances for the girls and musicales for the ladies. Such things are incidental
and by-the-way, and not here in mind. The thing in mind is that Masonry is a triumph
over the sour beast and the cynic in man. It exists for the sake of life. It makes for our
peace and ministers to our joy. It calls for blithesomeness because it carries within
itself the gladness of eternal LIFE.
* * *
THE N.M.R.S. CO-OPERATES WITH MASONIC MAGAZINES
In its issue of February 5, "The Missouri Freemason" of St. Louis, published and
edited by Brother F. H. Littlefield, made a two page announcement that must have
proved of considerable interest to any members of this Society who chanced to read
it. Over his own signature Brother Littlefield announced that a visit to the
headquarters of this Society had so opened his eyes to its possibilities for Masonic
service that he wished all readers of his paper to become members and to that end
offered to sponsor their memberships, and by way of encouragement volunteered an
offer of his own paper at a fifty per cent reduction. This is the first time such a thing
has occurred since this Society was organized more than eight years ago, and is
therefore worthy of more than passing notice.
This matter of possible co-operation with Masonic periodicals was carefully
canvassed by officers of the Society who found there could be no possible objection
to it in principle, but a very great likelihood of good; therefore, they approved the
move, taking care the while to have it understood that membership in this Society can
never be made a part of a club offer, but remains at a fined fee to one and all.
It chanced that during the week immediately following Brother Littlefield's visit to
the Society's headquarters another Masonic periodical took up the matter, thus
proving once again that the minds of men will sometimes run in the same channels. If
some arrangement is entered into with these latter mentioned brethren there is no
reason but to suppose that others may propose some such arrangements later on.
All this is as it should be. THE BUILDER is not competing with other Masonic
magazines in the commercial field; but it is the journal of the National Masonic
Research Society, and is designed to be a literary record of Freemasonry with a
world-wide appeal. The Society itself is strictly and permanently non-commercial and
does not, and cannot, pay a dollar of profits to anybody. All of its income is used to
publish THE BUILDER and to maintain or increase its rapidly growing services to
* * *
EXPERT WANTED: A MASONIC CONSULTING ARCHITECT
The great number of Masonic buildings now under way or in prospect has brought
into emphasis the need for architectural experts knowing Freemasonry thoroughly
enough to serve as consulting specialists for regular firms. To be perfectly fitted to its
purpose a Masonic temple must be, in arrangement and accommodations, adapted to
the uses of several Masonic bodies, and often of two or three auxiliaries; it must have
the peculiar equipment needed in Masonic work; and its decorations must fit into the
Masonic scheme of things.
How far the general run of architects are from understanding the specifically
MASONIC requirements of buildings and lodge rooms is proved by the small number
of such structures as successfully combine form and function.
There is a real need for the Masonic consulting specialist. Such a man must have a
thorough grounding in his own profession: and on top of this he should as thoroughly
understand Freemasonry in all its rites, its history, its spirit, and its symbolism. With
his headquarters in some central city this man could be called in by local lodge
committees and local architects [or advice on such architectural features as are
peculiarly Masonic. He would be especially valuable in working out the decorative
scheme of the building, which in too many cases, alas, is in shrieking discord with our
ceremonies. Imagine a Third Degree exemplified in a room decorated like a movie
theatre! The thing is hard to imagine, but it often happens.
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THE MASONIC WRITINGS OF GEORGE THORNBURGH
HISTORY OF MASONRY, Central Printing Co., Little Rock, Arkansas: $3.00.
MASONIC MONITOR FOR ARKANSAS, published by George Thornburgh, Little
Rock, Arkansas: $1.25.
MASONIC MONITOR FOR LOUISIANA, published by George Thornburgh, Little
Rock, Arkansas: $1.25.
THE HISTORY OF MASONRY has already received a commendatory review at the
hands of the editor of THE BUILDER, which same appeared in the issue for
December, 1915, page 308. The book has now reached an eighth edition, a rare
dignity in Masonic literature wherein so many similar ventures come to early grief.
Statistics and tables have been brought up to date, and such other changes made as
time has proved desirable. The volume as a whole comprises 243 pages; when it is
said that the last 70 pages are devoted exclusively to Arkansas, and that the 173
preceding pages are divided among ah the Masonic bodies along with rapid sketches
of Masonry in each of the states, it will be seen that Brother Thornburgh has
permitted himself no liberties with space. The story of Masonry is reduced to the
irreducible minimum, and there is much by way of names and dates.
This is the kind of volume required by the majority of men who wish to read
something about Freemasonry but haven't opportunity to read much. Such brethren
will find here collected together, and conveniently arranged, such facts as ah should
know, especially those who enjoy the honor of the chairs, and whose position
imposes upon them the honorable obligation to learn something about the Craft which
they have undertaken to rule. Brother Thornburgh has addressed himself to these men
in his History and in his Preface thereto, in the latter of which he writes: "Few have
the time or means to devote to large and expensive books, which in the end do not
make clear the truth. I present this history in plain language, boiled down and stripped
of speculation, with the hope that it will be studied and appreciated."
The man for whom Brother Thornburgh has so successfully performed this service
will not be much given to a meticulous examination or to quarrelling with the author
over moot points: a sophisticated student will no doubt become irritated here and
there. To have Duncerley spelled as "Dunkerly" and Ramsay appear as "Ramsey" on
one page hurts one's feelings. Dr. Anderson is given credit, and without reservation,
for transforming Operative Masonry into Speculative, a thing to which few can
subscribe. Neither is it possible for one to accept without reservations Brother
Thornburgh's account of "Operative Masonry," where he furnishes us not with an
account of the old Operative Freemasons as historical research has made them known
to us, but the legend, altogether unsustained by documents, set forth by the modern
society called "Operative Masonry," which is a very different thing. The "Stuart
Theory" of the Scottish Rite bodies is set forth in a page of straightforward statements
that wholly ignore the many other respectable theories that have been championed by
eminent scholars. The formation of the "Antient" Grand Lodge is described as a
"schism," a theory long exploded: and almost everything else said about that great
and critical epoch is erroneous.
If the entire volume were devoted to "history" properly so-called, after the fashion of
the works of Gould, Findel, Mackey, et al., such faults would be fatal; but the present
work is not such an attempt, since it is really a hand-book of such outstanding facts as
are never called in question, therefore they will do no great harm.
The volume includes a series of brief sketches of American Masonry state by state,
very valuable for reference purposes. There are little chapters on "The Poets
Laureate," "George Washington," and "Albert Pike"; and there is a great deal to be
said, as already indicated, about Masonry in Arkansas. The Table of Contents is
shifted to the rear and called an "Index" and the index itself is altogether missing,
upon which ye scribe exclaims, Alas! and finds himself confirmed in his long-
cherished intention of organizing an "Index Society." Heaven speed the day when
every book is compelled to carry an index! Of the two Monitors listed in the heading
it may be said that they are all that good Monitors should be, and are purchasable by
What a rare old state is Arkansas! Since Albert Pike graced it with his residence in the
ante-bellum days until now it has walked proudly among the foremost jurisdictions in
Freemasonry. Brother Thornburgh himself deserves a niche in the Arkansas pantheon:
as a Grand Master, as Custodian of the Secret Work, and as one of the princes of the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, he has labored long in behalf of the Craft. A
"fine Arkansas gentleman" is he, and long life to him!
THE CONSTITUTIONS OF 1722
A photographic reprint of THE OLD CONSTITUTIONS OF FREEMASONRY,
published by J. Roberts in 1722, issued by the National Masonic Research Society:
This is a hurry-up call to Masonic students who may have it in mind to possess
themselves of this invaluable book. The edition is limited to one thousand and each
copy is numbered. There are not many left, so that it will be wise to secure one while
securing is possible. The book carries a Foreword by Dr. J. F. Newton, former editor
of THE BUILDER, which same is here reproduced in order that readers may have
accurate knowledge of what the volume contains:
"The Old Charges or Constitutions of Freemasonry are the title deeds of the
Fraternity, and as such they should be carefully studied by every Craftsman - just as a
man ought to take due care to know the title of his home and holdings. It is therefore
that the Society issues herewith a photographic reproduction of a document as unique
as it is interesting, in the hope of reviving and prompting a study of the Old Charges
among American Masons, and especially among the young men now entering our
"When Hughan and Woodford began their researches into the Constitutions of the
Operative Masons, about 1866, hardly more than a score of such documents had then
been recovered and traced. (1) By the time Hughan published his Old Charges of
British Freemasons, in 1869, which was the first collection in print of the kind,
several more which had been discovered were duly noted or reproduced in that
volume. When the second edition of his volume appeared in 1895, he had access to
sixty-six rolls of the Old Charges, and nine printed versions, besides eleven others
known to have existed which he reckoned as 'Missing MSS.' (2) Of these the oldest
known was written about the latter part of the 14th century, followed by another in
the early 15th, then another in the 16th, thirty-nine in the 17th, and twenty-one in the
1 8th, besides a few in the 1 9th century. Some of these, to be sure, are duplicates, and
others are simply slight variations of extant originals, but a number are independent
versions of not a little value.
"Whether in manuscript or printed copies only, they have now all been named and
arranged in classes, or families, according to their dates and importance; and these
again have been subdivided into branches, the better to compare their different
readings and to estimate their value both individually and generally. (3) The
researches of Begemann in this field were not only memorable but astonishing, all the
more so because, as a German, he so thoroughly mastered the language in which the
Old Charges were written as to be able, more than once, to locate and give date to a
document by its peculiar accent and dialect. Surely, few feats of scholarship in the
annals of the Fraternity can surpass such an achievement, for which every Masonic
student should be deeply grateful.
"The Old Charges were, in fact, a part of the ritual of Operative Masonry, being read
or recited to the initiate upon his advent into the Order, to which, with whatever other
secret sign or teaching was communicated, he subscribed in an obligation. The
obligation, as will be seen in the following pages, was very simple, consisting of only
two or three sentences - sometimes of only one sentence - followed by none of the
elaborate penalties afterwards imposed when the Craft passed out of its operative
period. Evidently, our ancient Brethren relied upon the greater moral penalties which
affect and influence the human soul: namely, the terror of being forsworn and scorned
as a dishonored man and Mason, the horrors of an outraged conscience, and the just
and awful anger of the infinite Deity whose presence was invoked as a witness on the
'holy contents of this Book.'
"As all authorities agree, the tiny, faded, time-stained booklet which we herewith
present, is the oldest Masonic book, the earliest printed copy of the Constitutions of
the operative Freemasons. Hughan holds it to be such, with which Woodford agrees
when he says, 'Until some reliable evidence can be produced of their actual
publication, we must be content to accept Robert's Edition of 1722 as the first printed
issue of the Constitutions.' (4) The only possible exception are the excerpts from the
'William Watson MS.' printed by Dr. Robert Plot, author of The Natural History of
Staffordshire, in 1686. (5) Speaking of this little booklet, Brother Spencer, who
originally owned it, remarked in 1871, (6) that, as far as he could ascertain, it is
unique: 'It came into my possession about a quarter of a century ago, bound up at the
end of a scarce 1723 edition of the Constitutions: and from that time I have been
searching for another unsuccessfully. On making inquiry I learn that the work is
unknown at the British Museum, the Bodleian, and other public Libraries.' Hughan
adds, (7) 'At the sale of his (Spencer's) Masonic Library in 1875, it was purchased by
me for the late Mr. Bower, of Keekuk, Iowa. This pamphlet is now in the Library of
the Grand Lodge of Iowa, being one of the most valuable books of the celebrated
"Printed one year before the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, and being,
as Hughan holds, an 'exclusively operative' document, it stands as the parting of the
ways between Operative and Speculative Masonry. One has only to read it alongside
the Constitutions of 1723, to see how profound and far-reaching the transformation
from the old Masonry to the new really was. (8) Of its contents Hughan writes:
" 'The text leans more to the Grand Lodge MS. No. 2, than to the Harleian No. 1942,
though substantially it represents both documents. Robert's Charges run I to XXVI,
then follow (a) the brief and long "obligations," (b) "This Charge belongeth to
Apprentices" (I to X), and (c) the "Additional Orders" (I to VII), (d) concluding with
a repetition of the longer Obligation. The word omitted in Rule XXIII, apparently
because the Editor failed to read it, is supplied in the two MSS. named, as "erred."
" 'The "Additional Orders and Constitutions" are declared to have been "made and
agreed upon at a General Assembly held at - on the Eighth Day of December, 1663
but evidently this guess was not explicit enough for Dr. Anderson, as he states in
"Constitutions" 1738, that the Earl of St. Albans' held a General Assembly and Feast
on St. John's Day, 27th Dec., 1663, when the regulations were made. One romance is
as good or worthless as the other; and like the claim of Roberts, that the MS. he
copied from, was then about 500 years old, is only quoted now to show how Masonic
"History" was written at that period.' (9)
"Why it was published at all has led to some interesting speculations, one of which,
by Albert Pike, being to the effect that English Masonry, in 1717, and afterwards to
1745, had for one of its purposes, at least, if not the chief one, to sustain the Act of
Parliament settling the succession and excluding the Stuarts and all Papists: and that
by the Chiefs of the Order, at least, it was enlisted in the support of the House of
Hanover. (10) Whether this was so or not we need not stop to argue, but it adds
interest to the little booklet which Pike surmises is so scarce because it was
suppressed: and it may well provoke a desire to study anew the era in which it
appeared. What influence, if any, it had on the ritual mongers of the time, by whom
Gould thinks it was carefully studied, (1 1) is another question into which it may repay
us to inquire. Interesting in itself, valuable as a sign of the times in which it was
printed, and fruitful of problems worthy of study, the Society sends it forth in the
hope that it will provoke further research and bring more truth to light."
1. Old Charges of British Freemasons, by W. J. Hughan, 2nd Edition.
3. Transactions Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Vol. I; also Quatuor Coronatorum
4. Hughan, R. F., op. cit., preface 1872 edition.
5. History of Freemasonry, by R. F. Gould, Chapter VII; also Early Printed Literature
Referring to Freemasonry, by H. J. VVhymper.
6. Old Constitutions, by Spencer, p. 22.
7. Hughan, op. cit., 2nd edition, p. 122.
8. Constitutions, by Anderson.
9. Hughan, op. cit., 2nd edition, p. 122.
10. Official Bulletin Supreme Council, A.&A.S.R., Southern Jurisdiction, Vol. I, pp.
11. Collected Essays, by R.F. Gould, p. 246.
— o —
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its
contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions.
Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research
Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over
against another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction,
leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the
Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited
from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study club which are
following our Study Club course. The Society is now receiving from fifty to one
hundred inquiries each week: it is manifestly impossible to publish many of them in
A HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY IN CANADA
Is there a good history of Freemasonry in Canada? If so, where can I get it? W. H.,
There have been pamphlets dealing with the history of the Craft in the several
Provinces issued by the Nova Scotia Lodge of Research and by brethren in Ontario,
Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia; but with the exception of the first, these are
all out of print. The only complete history obtainable for the whole Dominion was
published in two volumes in 1900 by the late M. W. Bro. John Ross Robertson, of
In this connection, our readers, particularly those in Canada, will be interested to
know that we expect to publish in a few months an "All-Canadian" issue of THE
BUILDER, composed entirely of material by our brethren north of the border. The
Toronto Society for Masonic Research, now in its third year, of which Bro. N. W. J.
Haydon is Secretary, has undertaken to gather the literary matter and photos which
will be needed, and we hope that all our readers who have anything suitable for this
purpose, will at once let him know. His address is 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto,
* * *
PRESIDENT WARREN G. HARDING'S MASONIC RECORD
Will you please furnish me the Masonic record of President Warren G. Harding? F. F.
F., West Virginia.
Brother J. H. Bromwell, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Ohio, replies to your query
with the following information:
Entered Apprentice, June 28, 1901; Fellow Craft, August 13, 1920; Master Mason,
August 27, 1920, in Marion Lodge No. 70, F. & A. M., Marion, Ohio.
Mark Master, January 11, 1921; Past and Most Excellent, January 11, 1921; Royal
Arch, January 13, 1921, in Marion Chapter No. 62, R. A. M., Marion, Ohio.
Elected, but has not yet received Council Degrees in Marion Council No. 22, R. & S.
M., Marion, Ohio.
Red Cross, Malta and Temple, March 1, 1921, in Marion Commandery No. 36, K. T.,
Scottish Rite (4d-32d) January 5, 1921, in Scioto Consistory, Columbus, Ohio. (The
only candidate.) Has been elected by Supreme Council, Northern Masonic
Jurisdiction, to receive - 33d, but this has not yet been conferred.
Shrine, January 7, 1921, in Aladdin Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., Columbus, Ohio.
PROFESSOR EDWIN GRANT CONKLIN
Is Professor Edwin Grant Conklin, author of "The Direr tion of Human Evolution," a
O.C.Q., New Hampshire.
Professor Conklin replies: "I beg to say that I am not a member of the Masonic
Fraternity. Possibly certain phrases of my book, The Direction of Human Evolution,
may have suggested this inasmuch as I have lived with members of this Fraternity all
my life and have unconsciously and unknowingly adopted many of their phrases. My
father was a life long Mason and many of my University associates have been
members of this great Fraternity."
* * *
AUGUSTUS THOMAS IS A MASON
Can you tell me if Augustus Thomas is a Mason?
Your inquiry was forwarded to Mr. Thomas himself who replied as follows:-
"I am a Mason, 32nd degree.
* * *
GERMAN MASONIC WRITERS
I have found very little reference in my Masonic studies to brooks published in
languages other than English. We know that Masonic lodges exist in Germany but
apparently we have little knowledge of their literary work. What can be said on this
subject? R.F.G., Jr., California.
The Mason with a knowledge of foreign languages denies himself a wonderful
opportunity for obtaining information about Masonic affairs in Continental Europe if
he does not read books and magazines published abroad. To begin with, the best
bibliography of Masonry was prepared in Germany. In fact, the only extensive
bibliographies ever published have been in German.
The premier work of importance is that of George Klosz, Bibliographic der
Freimaurerei. This was published in Franfort-on-the-Main in 1844. It lists 5400 titles.
The next important work was Reinhold Taute's Maurerische Buecherkunde: Ein
Wepweiser durch die Literatur der Freimaurerei, published at Leipzig in 1886. This
was followed in 191 1-13 by the monumental three volume work of August Wolfstieg,
Biblio" graphic der Freimaurerischen Literatur, which lists 43,347 items. These books
will give an idea of the number of works published on Masonry. Wolistieg's
Bibliographic should be in the possession of every Masonic library, for it is printed in
English type and can be used by those not conversant with German.
What Wolfstieg is to Masonic bibliography, Wilhelm Begemann is to Masonic
history. His best and most widely known books are Vorgeschichte and Anfaenge der
Freimaurerei in England, 2 volumes, 1909-10; Freimaurerei in Irland, 1911;
Freimaurerei in Schottland, 1914. Other books of his are: Die Tempelherrn and die
Freimaurerei, 1906; Die Hanger Loge non 1637 and der Koelner Brief von 1535,
1907; Der Alte and Angenommene Schottische Ritus and Friedrich der Grosse, 1913.
Begemann's books are especially desirable as they supplement the earlier works of
British authors, such as Hughan, Gould, Sadler, etc.
Findel's History of Freemasonry has gone through many editions in Germany since it
made its first appearance in 1861. J.G. Findel was for many years editor of Die
Banhuette. He has written more than any other German on Masonry, and his works
are desirable and authoritative, making due allowance for the period in which he
wrote. The iconoclastic tendency of German Masonic writers, due partially to an
inborn trait to judge by the known evidence only, disregarding sentimentality, and a
friendly rivalry with England on the subject of Masonic origins, are factors which
must be considered when reading German literature.
An earlier work of value is Geschichte Freimaurerische Systeme in England,
Frankreich and Deutschland, by Freihe. C.C.F.W. von Nettelbladt. Originally written
during thy early decades of the nineteenth century, this work was republished in 1879
by the editors of the Zirkel-Correspondenz. It must be taken cum grano salis, as is the
case with all other early works.
It has been well said that we have no really excellent English encyclopedia of
Freemasonry. Apparently the author of these words had examined the Allgemeines
Handbuch der Freimaurerei, third edition, (1900) an adaptation of Lenning's early
work. It is a most commendable encyclopedia in two volumes which should be
consulted carefully whenever a critical review is necessary.
Dr. Jos. Schauberg's Vergleichendes Handbuch der Symbolik der Freimaurerei is an
excellent work in three volumes, originally issued in 1861. A general history of
symbolism is contained in the quarto volume of Max Schlesinger, Geschichte des
Symbols: Ein Versuch, published in Berlin, 1912.
One of the best German works is Wolfstieg's Unsprung and Entwicklung der
Freimaurerei, also in three volumes. This is of recent publication (1920) and deals
with the origins of Freemasonry in England *tom the Renaissance to the Reformation,
as well as taking up the later phases of Masonic history. Other European nations are
also covered in these books.
Research work, comparable to that carried on by English research bodies, is brought
to the attention of Masonic scholars by the "Verein Deutscher Freimaurer," (Dr. Jur.
J. C. Schwabe, Secretary, Fichtestrasse 43, Leipzig III, Germany) and the "Deutschen
Gesellechaftzur Foerderung freimaur.-wissenschaft. Forschung," (F. E. Zierler,
Johnsalle 84, Hamburg, Germany.
The works of Diedrich Bischoff, Otto Caspari, Hermann Settegast and August
Hornneffer are among modern examples of German Craft literature. J. H. T.
[Note: Brethren interested in any of the German publications can place orders through
the Book Department of the National Masonic Research Society.]
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THE WAYFARING MAN, ETC
In the "Question Box" for September, 1922, a brother from Florida requests
information regarding the symbolism or meaning of certain parts of the M. M. drama.
I question if there is any special significance to the Seafaring Man, the Embargo, the
burial in the rubbish of the Temple and the dimensions of the grave. I am inclined to
believe they are individually simply events necessary to develop the plot of the
drama. While practically every detail of the Masonic initiation has some significance,
we must not always ascribe or attempt to ascribe a symbolic meaning when those who
elaborated on the ritual had no such thoughts in mind.
As to the Seafaring Man, the correct designation is "Wayfaring Man." The former is a
corruption and should be altered by those jurisdictions using it. I can't say now just
what jurisdictions use the term "Seafaring;" but all do not. Mackey says the
Wayfaring Man was either introduced by Webb or else was found by him in the work
as exemplified in the colonies in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Up until
about the time of the Baltimore Convention, the Sea-Captain whom we meet with in
most jurisdictions, was unknown in the ritual. As the M. M. drama became more and
more dramatized and elaborated the Sea-Captain was introduced and with him the
dialogue between him and the ruffians, wherein they seek passage out of the country.
To be logical, when this was done, it should have been the Sea-Captain and not the
Wayfaring Man, who advises the three Craftsmen that the ruffians had sought passage
into Ethiopia. Except that a Sea-Captain would hardly have business inland. My guess
would be that the two terms became confused in some jurisdictions through
carelessness or ignorance and they borrowed the "Sea" from the Sea-Captain and
attached it to the "Faring" making it "Seafaring Man," possibly believing them one
and the same character.
The Embargo likewise is unknown in some jurisdictions. An expose of 1 83 1 makes
the W. M. say: "I had this embargo laid to prevent the ruffians from making their
escape." I am sure there is no significance to this event except as it tends to develop a
logical plot. And the plot is just as logical where no reference is made to it.
Unquestionably it was a part of the ritual in use prior to 1849, but was later deleted in
As this is proving lengthier than I intended to write, I shall only discuss the grave. I
do not believe there is any special reason for the dimensions given in the ritual in this
country. The expression "six feet of earth)' is quite common in describing a grave and
it is from this expression I think our description comes. I cannot say whether the
description is identical in the English Ritual. It is interesting to note that in the French
Rite the following question and answer occurs as part of the M. M. catechism:
Q. What was its size'
A. Three feet wide, five feet deep and seven feet long.
This is certainly an improvement on our work as I believe that six is not a Masonic
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania.
* * *
MERSEYSIDE ASSOCIATION FOR MASONIC RESEARCH
I was greatly interested in THE BUILDER for November to see the long list of
Research Societies in England.
One important Association has been omitted; viz., "The Manchester Association for
Masonic Research," with a membership of over 1000 members. The secretary is
Brother Chew P. Noar, 50 Murray Street, Higher Broughton, Manchester. From the
above heading, "The Merseyside Association for Masonic Research," you will see
that we have in this district recently formed a similar Association, of which I am the
John Mumby, Birkenhead, England.
* * *
CONCERNING DUFFY'S "ORIGINAL THOUGHTS"
It may interest you to know that we have a copy of Original Thoughts by Frank M.
Duffy. This is in reference to the question asked by L.D.S., South Carolina, in the
December number of THE BUILDER. You say in your reply that it was published in
1868. You came upon a second edition. I find our title page shows that it was
published at Nashville, Tennessee, for the author in 1867. There is a note on the fly
leaf in the author's hand writing; thus:- "Cornelius Moore, Esq., presented with
fraternal regard by the Author. Springfield, Tennessee, March 12th, 1858." The book
is inscribed to "John E. Brevard, Schoolmate, Friend, and Brother, and to the Officers
and Brethren of Union Lodge No. 113, Hartsville, Tennessee." The title page carries
this little piece of poetry: -
"Go, little book, from this my solitude!
I cast thee on the waters; go thy ways;
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good
The world will find thee after many days."
This little book of 138 pages has been a source of great pleasure to me in my digging
around for information on the Forty-seventh Problem. Hoping that I have not intruded
on your valuable time, with the best wishes for a prosperous and happy 1923, for
yourself and THE BUILDER, I am fraternally,
Fred W. Schmerr, Librarian, Cincinnati, Ohio.
* * *
ILLEGAL WEARING OF EMBLEMS IN MISSISSIPPI
In your Editorial Department of the January issue of THE BUILDER you made
reference to a bill which had been presented to the State Legislature of Mississippi
concerning the illegal wearing of lodge emblems. This bill passed and became
effective April 7, 1922, with this addition: "Provided, however, that these emblems
may be worn by consent of those nearest of kin."
J. Parkinson, Mississippi.
(We are indebted to J. W. McCants, of Mississippi, for a similar letter.)
ANOTHER WORD CONCERNING THOMAS JEFFERSON
Word came to us that in the Minutes of Widow's Sons Lodge No. 60, Charlottesville,
Virginia, is an entry to show that Thomas Jefferson was a Mason. Our readers will
bested to read the reply to our inquiry sent by Brother E. E. Dinwiddie, Secretary of
Widow's Sons Lodge:-
Your letter to Secretary W. F. Souder, of Lodge No. 55, has been handed me by him.
There is no record of Jefferson as a Mason here. There were three lodges within less
than five miles of his home, and no record of him as a member or as having visited
any of them. This Lodge No. 60 is the surviving lodge of the three.
From extracts from the minutes of Lodge No. 90 of October 6, 1817, 1 copy as
follows: "The Lodge formed procession and marched to the Central College where
they were joined in procession by James Monroe, James Madison, Thos. Jefferson,
Jno. H. Cocke, Jos. C. Cabell, & David Watson, Visitors of the Central College,
proceeded, & did lay with the assistance of the visitors of the said Central College,
the Comer Stone of the said building in ancient form."
This Corner Stone of Central College, now the University of Virginia, was laid by
Charlottesville Lodge No. 90 in conjunction with Widow's Sons Lodge No. 60.
In conversation with Past Grand Master Rt. Wor. R. T. W. Duke of Virginia a few
days ago, he expressed the opinion that Jefferson was not a Mason, though some have
thought so. Certainly he never attended any Lodge here.
We have no record of Madison or Monroe as being Masons. They would not have
belonged to a Lodge here had they been, as their homes were too far away.
E. E. Dinwiddie, Virginia
* * *
SEVENTY-FOUR YEARS A MASON
In looking over an English newspaper recently I ran across the following which seems
to me most surely a record: -
"Mr. F. James, of Penkridge, Staffordshire, has just celebrated his one hundred and
"He is a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and at one time served as chairman
of the Staffordshire County Council.
"Not in public affairs only is he a well-known figure. He is one of the veterans of
Freemasonry, his connection with it going back for seventy-four years."
Sidney J. Harris, Manitoba, Canada.
* * *
FORTY-FIFTH TERM AS SECRETARY
So many times I have noted in THE BUILDER references to long periods of service
of secretaries and it has occurred to me that you should know something of Brother
the Rev. Willis D. Engle, Secretary of Mystic Tie Lodge No. 398, F. & A. M., of the
city of Indianapolis.
Brother Engle was Master of Mystic Tie Lodge No. 398 in 1875. In 1876-7 and 8 he
was secretary of that Lodge. In 1879 he was again made Master of the Lodge and in
1880 he was again elected secretary and from that time he has continuously served
without interruption, thus constituting this year his forty-fifth term as secretary of that
Mystic Tie Lodge was chartered in 1869. Today it has a membership in excess of
1400 members and Brother Engle has personally met and helped over obstacles, trials
and troubles every one of these members and that host of members "who have gone
He is loved, revered, respected and his presence among us is appreciated.
Bro. Engle has been active Secretary of the Masonic Relief Board forty-four years
and Secretary of the Masonic Burial Ground the same number of years.
E. O. Burgan, Indiana.
* * *
We are looking for a collection of songs to sing at the social sessions of our Lodge. I
have written to a number of publishers for a collection of Masonic songs, but thus far
have failed to locate an appropriate collection. If any brother knows of any such
collection, the writer would be glad to hear from him.
Harry J. Laque,
702 Provident Bank Building, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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YE EDITOR'S CORNER
Let's get a law passed to stop lodge orators from reciting Bryant's "Thanatopsis." It is
possible to do some things once too often.
* * *
It was impossible to respond to the hundreds of replies that came from the circular
letter sent out to all members.
* * *
Are you remodeling your lodge room or erecting a new Masonic building? Send us
copy of yours plans and drawings; we have constant inquiries for such things.
A brother of evident foreign birth, not yet out of the throes of his struggle with our
mysterious English language, remarks in a recent letter to us that "we all cherish a
great admiration for the profits of Israel." Indeed we do!
* * *
The Sojourner's Club Building at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, was scheduled for
dedication February 7th last. Congratulations, brethren!
* * *
Can you make a map ? We need a world map showing distribution of Masonic
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A PARTIAF FIST OF BOOKS OBTAINABFE FROM THE SOCIETY
A Subject of Vital Interest to Every Mason
ROMAN CATHOEOCISM AND FREEMASONRY
BY DUDLEY WRIGEIT
Author of "Masonic Legends and Traditions," "Woman and Freemasonry," "The
Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites," etc.
This is a historical, not a controversial work. It contains a full translation of the
official Bulls, Encyclical letters, and Decrees issued against the Craft by Popes and
Bishops, as well as the official records of the sufferings imposed upon Freemasons
under the Inquisition. Incidentally, it throws interesting sidelights upon the history of
Freemasonry in the United Kingdom and on the Continent of Europe, and gives
particulars of secret societies into which only Catholics were permitted to be initiated.
The facts are given without embellishment; they speak for themselves. The range
covered by the work extends over two centuries, beginning with the latter part of the
seventeenth century and carrying up to the present day.
Attractively bound in blue buckram, 247 pages and comprehensive index $3.25,
Early Eighteenth Century Masonry in the Colonies
FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA PRIOR TO 1750
BY MELVIN MAYNARD JOHNSON
Past Grand Master of Masons of Massachusetts
The beginnings of Freemasonry in America are as fascinating to the Masons of today
as was the story of the Colonists when we first learned the romance of American
history. Many of the men who participated in the aggressive life of the Colonies were
brethren of the Craft. Benjamin Franklin, Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania,
printed accounts of the Fraternity in his newspaper, the Philadelphia Gazette, before
he was a Mason.
Brother Johnson has examined many of the original documents and printed accounts
of Colonial Freemasonry, and presents a wealth of material to the reader interested in
learning how the Craft sprang up in America. This book is necessary to the library of
every well informed Mason. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, May, 1918, page 152.)
Bound in blue buckram, 225 pages, folding plates and facsimile reproductions $1.35,
"MASONS AS MAKERS OF AMERICA," Madison C. Peters. Gives account of all
prominent Revolutionary heroes who were Masons. Has gone through several
editions. Cloth binding, 60 pages $1.00
"THE BUILDERS - A STORY AND STUDY OF MASONRY," by Brother Joseph
Fort Newton, former Editor-in-Chief of THE BULDER, is now the fastest selling
Masonic book in the world. It is being translated into several languages. (Special
price in lots of twelve or more copies.) Bound in substantial blue' cloth beautifully
printed. Single copies $1.75
"QUESTIONS ON THE BUILDERS." Compiled by the Cincinnati Masonic Study
Club to be used in connection with "The Builders," by Joseph Fort Newton. Paper, 13
pages, closely printed $.15
"SYMBOLISM OF FREEMASONRY,” Albert G Mackey. New edition of a Masonic
classic, revised by Robert I. Clegg. De Luxe fabrikoid binding, 311 pages. (Old
edition reviewed in THE BUILDER, August 1920, page 226. New edition reviewed
in the December 1922 issue.) $3.65
"THE GOSPEL OF FREEMASONRY," by "Uncle Silas." A very rapidly selling
book written in a new vein. Third edition. Cloth binding, 60 pages $1.00
"THE STORY OF THE CRAFT," Lionel Vibert. One of the best of brief histories of
Masonry. Cloth binding; 86 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, April 1922, page
"FREEMASONRY BEFORE THE EXISTENCE OF GRAND LODGES," Lionel
Vibert. Embodies findings of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research on Masonic
history prior to 1717. A standard. Cloth binding, 164 pages. (Reviewed in THE
BUILDER, October 1917, page 314.) $1.75
"A CONCISE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY," Robert Freke Gould. Revised by
Fred J. W. Crowe. Absolutely indispensable. Cloth binding, 349 pages. (See THE
BUILDER, January 1922, page 23, June 1922 pagel83.) $5.00
"THE PHILOSOPHY OF MASONRY," Roscoe Pound, LL.D. Five interesting
chapters on Preston, Krause, Oliver, Pike, and "A Twentieth Century Masonic
Philosophy." Cloth, 92 pages and index $1.25
"LECTURES ON MASONIC JURISPRUDENCE," Roscoe Pound, LL.D. A series of
lectures on a subject often perplexing and confusing to Masons Cloth, 112 pages
"THE ARCANE SCHOOLS," John Yarker. A famous book. Especially interesting to
students of the occult. Cloth binding, 535 pages $5.00
"THE KABBALAH. Its Doctrines, Development and Literature," Christian D.
Ginsberg. For many years the standard. A new reprint. Cloth binding, 232 pages
"COLLECTED ESSAYS ON FREEMASONRY," Robert Freke Gould. Important
treatises by a master Masonic historian. Large size, beautifully printed. Cloth binding,
300 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER, March 1918, page 93. $7.00
OTHER BOOKS BY DUDLEY WRIGHT
"ROBERT BURNS AND FREEMASONRY." Contains chapter by Joseph Fort
Newton. Cloth binding, 113 pages. (Reviewed in THE BUILDER. August 1921, page
"MASONIC LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS." Cloth binding, 152 pages. (Reviewed
in THE BUILDER, February 1922, page 57. Review by A. E. Waite reprinted in THE
BUILDER, July 1922, page 221.) $1.50
"THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES AND RITES." One of the best accounts of one of
the most influential of the Ancient Mysteries. Cloth binding, 108 pages $1.50
"WOMAN AND FREEMASONRY." Especially valuable for students of the Order of
the Eastern Star. Cloth binding, 184 pages $1.90
The National Masonic Research Society is a non-commercial organization that pays
neither profits nor dividends. Its Book Department exists for no other purpose than
the convenience of its members. All profits on book sales are returned to the working
treasury of the Society, to be used to increase its service to the Craft.
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WORTH WHILE MASONIC BOOKS
In addition to-selling new books - both of other publishers and its own - the National
Masonic Research Society maintains a department for the purchase and sale of used
books on Freemasonry and kindred subjects. Persons having Masonic books to sell
are asked to inform us of the title, author, place and date of publication; those wishing
to purchase desirable books are invited to submit lists of wants. The Society will
endeavor to locate scarce and out of print books.
An Intimate Glimpse of English Masonry in the Eighteenth Century
ANCIENT FREEMASONRY AND THE OLD DUNDEE LODGE NO. 18
BY ARTHUR HEIRON, P. M.
This interesting and instructive book is crammed full of facts about Masonic life in
the period between 1720 and 1820. Dealing more especially with London and
environs, Brother Heiron's contribution to the story of the Craft sheds much valuable
light upon conditions existing at the time the first Grand Lodge was formed. Various
old Masonic customs - quaint, humorous and even startling - so grip the attention of
the reader that he is reluctant to put the book down. A lengthy review of this
fascinating volume appeared in the September, 1921, issue of THE BUILDER, page
A handsome volume in blue cloth, gold lettering, 304 pages, with colored frontispiece
of the "Pelican Stairs, Old Wapping," and many halftone illustrations $5.00 postpaid.
Comments by the Masonic Press
"The author now presents us with a book to which almost unqualified praise and
welcome can be offered... The old customs, Masonic, convivial, and hospitable, are
fully illustrated... To criticise this book would only be to praise."
- Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.
"The book is designed for the benefit of those brethren who have little leisure and few
opportunities to study for themselves the early life of our Masonic ancestors in
London. Brother Heiron's book has not a dull page within its handsome and
- The Freemason, London.
An Exact Facsimile of an Exceedingly Rare Masonic Publication
THE OLD CONSTITUTIONS OF FREEMASONRY, 1722.
This handsome book is an exact photographic reproduction, page by page, of the
earliest printed edition of the Masonic Constitutions, of which the only known copy is
in the Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa. The title of the original publication
reflects the medieval tone of the contents: "The Old Constitutions Belonging to the
Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons. Taken from a
Manuscript wrote about Five Hundred Years since. LONDON: Printed and sold by J.
Roberts, in Warwick Lane, MDCCXXII." A review of this National Masonic
Research Society reprint appears in this issue of THE BUILDER, page 85.
Blue buckram binding, with Foreword by Joseph Fort Newton, numbered and limited
edition; $2.00, postpaid.
Address Inquiries for Masonic Books to
THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA.
The National Masonic Research Society is a non-commercial organization. Profits
from book sales are used to promote the work of the Society.